Inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute to Launch at the 2021 Play Conference

Inaugural “Health and PLAY” Online Institute

Weekly Webinar Series beginning April 5, 2021

The inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute is a weekly webinar series featuring health experts, thought leaders and change agents from across the country and aimed specifically at health practitioners. The institute is the cornerstone of the US Play’s Coalition’s 2021 Virtual Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY IS SURVIVAL.

Michael Suk, MD, a leading advocate on health and nature, outdoor recreation as a gateway to better health, and “play for life” champion, will be our Chair and Moderator for the Health and Play Institute.  Dr. Suk is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Professor and Chair of the Musculoskeletal Institute at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. In addition to his role as a Steering Committee Member for the US Play Coalition, Dr. Suk also serves on numerous Boards including the American Medical Association, Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Associations and SHIFT at the Center for Jackson Hole.  Previously he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior and Senior Advisor on Health and Recreation to the National Park Service.

Topics and honored faculty of the “Health and PLAY” Institute include:

The Science of Play: What We Know
Examining the history of play science and its relationship to human interaction, brain development and as a potential medical intervention

  • Stuart Brown, MD, is Founder of the National Institute for Play.  His background in psychiatry, the evolution of human and animal play, as well as his clinical research into the causes and prevention of violence, have shown him that authentic play is a state of being which can be accessed and used by everyone, and that play is as important to humans as vitamins or sleep.
  • Jessica M. Black, PhD, is pioneering and directing advancement of cognitive, educational and social neuroscience into social work research, education and training. Dr. Black is an Educational Neuroscientist and an Associate Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work. She is Chair of Children, Youth and Families Concentration and is the Chair of Teaching Excellence. Dr. Black directs the Cell to Society Lab that fuses biological and psycho-social fields to improve youth wellbeing.
  • Jenny Radesky, MD, is a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician whose research focuses on family digital media use, child social-emotional development, and parent-child interaction.  She uses a combination of observational, qualitative, and passive sensing methods to examine how parents and young children use mobile media throughout daily routines.  She authored the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics digital media guidelines for young children.
  • Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD, is a gastroenterologist with an interest in lifestyle, integrative, and behavioral-science approaches in digestive health and general well-being.  He is author of Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World (2018) and The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It (2011).  His interviews and writings have run in various media outlets, including the New York Times, Psychology Today, the Today show, the Washington Post, and TIME Ideas.

The Role of Play in Society
Exploring the role of play from a population viewpoint and the role of non-profit advocacy groups and state government

  • Erwin Tan, MD – Dr. Erwin Tan is Director of Thought Leadership – Health at AARP and a board-certified internist and geriatrician. He previously served as the director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he oversaw the RSVP, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.
  • Hon. Jerome Loughridge, Secretary of Health and Mental Health, State of Oklahoma. In this position, he oversees Oklahoma’s health care industry that employs more than 215,000 professionals and has an impact of roughly $11.8 billion annually. Under Governor Kevin Stitt, Loughridge has been charged given the tasks of repairing Oklahoma’s rural health infrastructure, decreasing the number of uninsured Oklahomans and making Oklahoma a healthier state with a greater quality of life
  • Sarah Griffin, PhD, professor of Public Health Science at Clemson University, has over twenty years of experience in public health with a specific interest in eliminating health disparities. Dr. Griffin serves as Principal Investigator of the Greenville Health System (GHS) School-Based Health Center implementation study for OnTrack Greenville. She is also Co-Principal Investigator for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obesity prevention initiative with rural health extension

Healthcare Professionals’ Wellbeing: Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Play
Pulling back the curtain on the widely recognized and growing epidemic of healthcare professionals’ “burnout” and compassion fatigue with an eye toward using Play as a tool combat “moral injury”

  • Marie Brown, MD, is a practicing internist, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College, the director of practice redesign for the American Medical Association, and the immediate past governor of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Dr. Brown is a frequent guest lecturer at academic, national and international health care conferences. Her areas of expertise include: practice transformation, joy in medicine, adult immunizations, medication adherence and diabetes.
  • Brooke Buckley, MD, FACS, board certified general surgeon and national expert on physician well-being. Dr. Buckley has dedicated a significant portion of her training and professional life to organized medicine and taking a broader look at medical care delivery, with specific interests in emergency surgical care, health-care delivery to rural communities, and physician wellbeing.
  • Caroline Cárdenas, MSN, RN, CBCN, is a Masters-prepared oncology nurse, hoopdance teacher, and evangelist for play and physical movement as a means to preventing and recovering from burnout and compassion fatigue. She’s also the creator of The Hula Hoop Girl, an Embodied Movement Meditation Self-Care Body Play Practice that guides women to reconnect to their natural born rhythm, replenish their joy, and cultivate their creative courage.
  • Michael Tutty, PhD, MHA is the Group Vice President of Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability at the American Medical Association (AMA). Mr. Tutty leads AMA’s efforts to enhance practice efficiency, to improve professional satisfaction and to advance the delivery of high-quality care.

Using Play as Bridge Between Technologies
Looking at health technology platforms and discussing how aspects of “Play” can be a bridge to consumer engagement and/or better health outcomes

  • Meaghan Praznik, is a health and wellness, social media expert and Head of Communications & Partnerships, AllTrails. She is a 13-time IRONMAN finisher and qualifier for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
  • Amy Babington is Vice President of Client Success & Strategy at Force Therapeutics, leading a team that is responsible for supporting the patient and provider end users of the Force platform. In her tenure, she has been an integral part of the team to build out important functions and determine the needs of Force’s client base and market.
  • Brittne Nelson-Kakulla, PhD, is Senior Research Advisor- Consumer Insights at AARP.  She is a consumer-focused leader experienced in research, strategic planning, project management, statistical analysis, and data analytics. Her most recent research looked at tech trends and gaming attitudes and habits of adults over 50.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The 2021 Virtual Play Conference includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.


“PLAY and Early Childhood” ONLINE Institute Available Through 12/30

The US Play Coalition and the Institute for Child Success are thrilled to present the recordings and materials from the “PLAY and Early Childhood” ONLINE Institute, a unique early childhood professional development program presented live on Zoom on October 3, 2020.

AVAILABLE ONLY THROUGH DECEMBER 30, 2020.

Presentations included with this 6-hour institute:

Workshop 1 – “Voices for Play: Advocating for Active Play”
Amity Buckner, M. Ed., Director, Pickens County Office of First Steps

Workshop 2 – “Integrating Play and STEAM Teaching into Early Childhood Classrooms”
Amanda Bennett, M.Ed., ABD, Lecturer in Child Development, College of Education, Clemson University

Workshop 3 – “Strategies for Supporting Preschool Children Who Have Experienced Trauma”
Jill C. Shelnut, Ph.D., Lecturer in Early Childhood Education, Clemson University
Jennifer Geddes Hall, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, RPT, Assistant Clinical Professor, College of Education, Clemson University

Workshop 4 – “Play and the Reggio Emilia Approach”
Dee Stegelin, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Clemson University & Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success

Workshop 5 – “Children Think Better on Their Feet Than in Their Seat”
Mary Mackenzie, M.Ed., United Kingdom, Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success

Workshop 6 – “Playing with Vivian Paley’s Storytelling and Story Acting Approach”
Debora Wisneski, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Omaha


Registration Fee for the PLAY and Early Childhood ONLINE Institute

$30.00/person
$125 for groups of 5-10 from the same school or center*
*Please email us to get this rate or inquire about rates for groups larger than 10.


VIDEO: Panel Discusses Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play

The Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook is a joint effort of the Children and Nature Network, the Meridian Institute, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, Outdoor Alliance for Kids and North American Association of Environmental Education.

As part of the 2020 Online Conference on the Value of Play, representatives of each organization (detailed below) discussed the Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook, a tool to empower grassroots and grasstops leaders and educate state legislators on the value of outdoor engagement and play – with an aim to work together to pass legislation to give more youth and families more outdoor opportunities.

Panelists include:

Watch the full video of the panel presentation recorded live on Zoom, April 24, 2020: “Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play: Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook”
Want to see more great online professional development content like this?!
Join the 2020 Online Conference on the Value of Play through December 15.
 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference! Learn more at usplaycoalition.org/playconference2020


US Play Coalition Announces Inaugural Fran P. Mainella Play Conference Scholarship Winners

The U.S. Play Coalition is proud to announce the recipients of its inaugural Fran P. Mainella Play Conference Scholarship. This brand new scholarship program is named for our founder Fran P. Mainella, the first woman to serve as Director of the US National Park Service and one of America’s leading play advocates.  The scholarship was established to honor her vision, passion, leadership and playful spirit that founded and guided our organization in its first decade.  It will be awarded annually to new professionals, young professionals, and new-to-play professionals that could not otherwise attend the conference.

Meet the Inaugural Recipients of the Fran P. Mainella Play Conference Scholarship for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play:

Christine Alexander is executive assistant of Let’s Play America in Takoma Park, MD.  She believes that play is “a distinctly human experience, a happening that we can all understand and share regardless of background, age, ability, or point of entry.”  Christine believes strongly that play is NOT just for children.  “Despite all that we know about the value of play in human development, when faced with the observation and potential for judgment from our peers, adults will forego child-led play-based learning in order to avoid the chaos of free play. This blatant devaluation of play is what drives me to advocate for accessible free play opportunities for all stages of human development.”

Jennifer Beasley is a mental health practitioner at Cochran Elementary School in Louisville, KY.  According to Jennifer, play is essential to her work.  “In my opinion, helping children regulate their emotions and solve problems is best done through play.”  Jennifer hopes to learn to advocate for children’s play in educational systems and in public policy as well as learn how to further collaboration between the field of art therapy and the diverse disciplines represented by the Play Conference.

Alicia Chiaravalli is an environmental consultant and freelance designer from the Detroit area.  She is also continuing her education in a Design for Play program within Industrial Design.  As a student of play design, Alicia’s definition of play is constantly evolving.  “Play can take many forms, be deeply personal and often intra-personal, but the expression of play is irrefutably transcendent.” The Play Conference affords her the opportunity to connect with designers, artists, practitioners, historians, theorists and craftspeople who are similarly concerned with how play can contribute to the public good.

Tia Reid is from Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she is program director of At the Table Community Development Inc.  She is currently working on a project to intentionally integrate student-led play opportunities into the classroom of the Title One schools in her surrounding communities. As a former PreK teacher, Tia knows the value of play in the classroom, but in elementary schools she often faces feedback that questioned the challenge and rigor or lessons infused with meaningful play.  For Tia, the Play Conference provides the research and resources she needs “to educate and encourage my colleagues in the fight toward educational equity…I hope to learn valuable strategies for influencing challenging learning environments that fail to see the value of play.”

Lauren Willis is director of the Preschool at Holly Springs Center, a community effort to bring a quality play-based preschool program to rural Pickens County, South Carolina. “We know that play is valuable, because we see the benefits everyday, but we’d love to learn the Hows and Whys. I’m eager to learn more ways to help my staff develop and implement new ways to bring play to our students, and I feel that the PLAY Conference is an amazing opportunity to do this.”

 


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!

Join the 2020 Online Conference on the Value of Play through December 15.

Learn more at usplaycoalition.org/playconference2020


VIDEO: A conversation about “The Relationship between Play and Relationships”

The US Play Coalition and IPA-USA invite you to join us for “The Relationship between Play and Relationships” with Rusty Keeler, Claude Stephens and Megan Dickerson.

Holding space for play in our communities is built upon developing relationships and then continuously working to improve them. That isn’t always straight forward work and it doesn’t always go as planned.

This session will explore how the concept of emergent strategies supports relationship development and what might spring from that. Plan on being part of the conversation.

NOTE: This recorded presentation is included in our 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL content.


Rusty Keeler
Rusty Keeler is a natural playscape designer and author who for nearly 30 years has traveled the world designing outdoor play environments and speaking about the benefits and beauty of saying “yes” to children’s play. Described as a blend of Mister Rogers and Jerry Garcia, Rusty is the author of multiple books on play and playscapes including the upcoming book Adventures in Risky Play: what is your yes? He is the co-founder of the social justice initiative the “Just Play Project” in Ithaca, NY which works to support all children’s right to play. With Rusty’s help the city of Ithaca declared itself America’s first “Free Range Kid” city to support children’s rights and initiate community conversation about children’s play, equity, and mobility.

Megan Dickerson
Megan Dickerson is an exhibition experience developer, playworker and community organizer. Her twenty-year museum career has included work at contemporary art museums, historic sites, and children’s museums. At Boston Children’s Museum for over a decade, Megan oversaw museum-community partnerships. Bringing pop-up museums to public housing, community centers, libraries and parking lots. In her current role as Director of Exhibitions at San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum, Megan collaborates with artists to develop emergent, site-specific artworks for a family audience.

Megan is one of the first Americans to earn a Masters in Play and Playwork, a practice that originated on adventure playgrounds in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavia. Her research work has recently been published in the book Practice-Based Research in Children’s Play, and a new project, Occuplay Museums, seeks to continue the work of her mentor, the late Stuart Lester, in exploring possibilities for playfulness in museum settings.

Claude Stephens
Claude Stephens is the Facilitator of Outreach and Regenerative Design at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky and the director of the Children at Play Network which is an ongoing project of Bernheim focused on working regionally to ensure equitable access to landscapes for play. The CAPN values play as part of healthy child development and as a means to reconnect children with nature in order to foster the next generation of environmental stewards. Claude has more than 34 years of experience working in museums and environmentally focused organizations. His academic background is in evolutionary ecology and biology which continues to frame his approach to how humans might build deeper and healthier relationships with the natural world.

 


This session is part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play, launching on May 1 and featuring more than 50 recorded headliners, educational sessions and research symposium presentations. All “live” headliner presentations leading up to the official launch are open to registered online conference attendees. All live sessions are recorded and included in our online conference content (so don’t fret if you miss any!). There is still time to join some of the live sessions leading up to the online conference launch!

 

 

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


Discover the Magic of Play and Play Workshops with Yesim Kunter

What is the state of Play? Explore the worldwide changes that are shaping the Future of Play and ‘Play Workshops’ that create a lens into the understanding of our playful minds.

“Magic of Play and Play Workshops” with Yesim Kunter, Monday, April 27, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT

(Registered 2020 Online Play Conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.)

According to Yesim Kunter, “As designers, developers, and practitioners, anything we design has a fundamental power, power of creating versions of ourselves and societies. We are the magicians of play! And we should be mindful of using that power!”

So if we are the developers of the Magic of Play, what is the state of play?

In order to predict upcoming dynamics, behaviors, needs and desires of children and adults, designers, developers, practitioners have used the methodology of play.

There are many dynamics that are shaping the Future of Play – from trends that are shaping children’s intellectual, cognitive and physical development to parenting styles that are impacting their risk taking abilities and macro trends that are technologically, socially, politically and environmentally impacting all generations.

In this “Play Hour” session, Yesim Kunter provides secure settings and inspiring materials for the participant to feel comfortable enough to examine variety of possibilities through unknown perspectives and create new connections in order to form new meanings. The experience of these settings are like time capsules.


Yesim Kunter is a recognized play expert and a creative strategist understanding behavior of people to create new experiences and define new opportunities.

As a consultant; develops “playful” experiences for Fortune 500 Companies, Universities, Communities by applying ‘Play Philosophy’ to products, environments, communities, culture creation as well as market research with future scoping; She has facilitated numerous successful ‘PlaytoInnovate® Workshops’ in training organizations with diverse backgrounds from kids to professionals for leveraging Creative Thinking and held talks at prestigious conferences.

Previous to her consultancy she had worked for Toys R Us, Lego and Hasbro as a play futurist.


This session is part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play, launching on May 1 and featuring more than 50 recorded educational and research symposium sessions. All “live” headliner presentations leading up to the official launch are open to registered online conference attendees. All live sessions are recorded and included in our online conference content (so don’t fret if you miss any!). There is still time to join some of the live sessions leading up to the online conference launch!

 

 

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


Panel Discusses Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play for Next “Play Hour”

The Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook is a joint effort of the Children and Nature Network, the Meridian Institute, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, Outdoor Alliance for Kids and North American Association of Environmental Education.

Join us Friday, April 24, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT for “Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play: Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook.”

(Registered 2020 Online Play Conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.)

With representatives of each organization (detailed below), this session will highlight the Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook, a tool to empower grassroots and grasstops leaders and educate state legislators on the value of outdoor engagement and play – with an aim to work together to pass legislation to give more youth and families more outdoor opportunities.

Panelists include:

Martin LeBlanc (moderator)
Martin LeBlanc is a strategic planning, public policy, and fundraising specialist with two decades of experience helping organizations expand their impact and Principal at LBC Action a Strategic Advisory Firm. He is co-founder and vice-president emeritus for the board of the Children & Nature Network. Martin is also a member of the US Play Coalition’s steering committee.

Robyn Paulekas, Meridian Institute
Robyn Paulekas is a Senior Mediator and Program Manager in Meridian’s Dillon, CO office. She has led and supported both domestic and international projects on water, conservation, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and climate change—often working at the nexus of more than one of these issues.  Robyn has extensive experience finding and catalyzing collaborative solutions.

Sarah Bodor, North American Association of Environmental Education
NAAEE’s Director of Policy & Affiliate Relations, Sarah Bodor comes from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where she worked closely with state education agencies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to develop and pilot standards-based curricula and provide teacher professional development.  From 2008-2012, Sarah coordinated the national No Child Left Inside grassroots coalition and in 2008, she served as the writer of Maryland’s Children in Nature Plan, which resulted in passage of Maryland’s environmental high school graduation requirement.

Dylan McDowell, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL)
Dylan McDowell serves as the Deputy Director for NCEL. Dylan is a science communicator with a passion for environmental issues. He specializes in making complex science accessible for a general audience, and his background includes developing education and outreach programs for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. He is an active science writer and regularly contributes to Oregon Sea Grant publications.

Jayni Rasmussen, Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)
Jayni is a Senior Campaign Manager for the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) & Youth for the Sierra Club. Previously, she served as NRPA’s Advocacy and Outreach Manager, where she designed, implemented and managed the Park Champion initiative, a national grassroots advocacy program training park and recreation professionals and park advocates to invite their members of Congress to see their parks and programs first-hand at site visits and events.

James E. King Jr.
James E. King Jr., MAED is an African American researcher, environmental activist, and cultural responsiveness facilitator based in Seattle, Washington originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He currently works on multiple projects, facilitating the growth of awareness within multicultural environmental education alongside conferences, industries, communities, schools and now the filming industry. He calls it J.E.D.I. Training. Outside of his work you can find James outdoors connecting to nature with family and friends.

 

 

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT as part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.  All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch on May 1, so don’t fret if you miss any!


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


“Play Hour” Heads Under the Big Top to Consider Circus as a Teaching Tool

Expect to learn a skill to amaze your family at the next LIVE Zoom presentation!

“Ta Dah! Circus as a Teaching Tool”
with Jessica Hentoff, Artistic/Executive Director, Circus Harmony
Monday, April 20, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT. (Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.)

The best way to educate is to be entertaining and the best way to entertain is to be educational! For many children, sitting still while learning is difficult. Experiential and fun learning has been proven to be more effective. Circus arts works across ages, backgrounds, and school subjects!  You do not have to be an acrobat or a tightrope walker yourself to apply this fun, fantastic, flexible art form!

Circus arts are an amazing activity that can be used to teach physical education, science, math, language, history and more! It is also perfect for teaching character education. Circus helps children learn concepts in a new and fun way that they will remember and apply. This holistic approach to learning not only teaches academic or character concepts, but, at the same time, helps children develop their physical literacy, strength, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. In addition, students can learn how to present themselves in public, an all-around useful life skill! Circus is most obvious to use as an alternative approach to physical education. It is non-competitive and is comprised of several genres so there literally is something for everyone.

Our “Play Hour” presenter is Jessica Hentoff, the artistic/executive director of Circus Harmony, a social circus based in St. Louis, Missouri. Circus Harmony is a non-profit social circus organization that uses circus arts to motivate social change. It is both an arts education and a youth development organization. They believe that circus teaches the art of life- while children are learning circus arts, they are also learning life skills like focus, persistence, teamwork.

 

 

 

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT as part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.  All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch on May 1, so don’t fret if you miss any!


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


“Play Hour” Continues Conversations of Social Justice and Play, Highlighting How Racism and Poverty Affect Black Children at Play

Join our next LIVE Zoom presentation,“A Community Within: Black Child Play as Response and Protest,” with Ariana Brazier, and Julia Brazier, Friday, April 17, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT. (Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.)

This informative and interactive session explores the different ways that play contributes to childhood growth, focusing on the ways that Black children living in poverty play. Participants will learn to  identify and analyze the racialized and classed ways in which play is deprived as Black children age and grow.

Ariana and Julia Brazier will guide participants through dialogue, physical play, and multimedia presentations to analyze the ages and stages of play necessary for holistic child development.  They will lead play breaks in the form of physically active games, so have plenty of room for movement and activity (Note: Participants are encouraged to play to according to their personal abilities).

 

Ariana Brazier is a play-driven community-organizer and educator. She is an English, Critical & Cultural Studies, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Ari conducts community-based ethnographic research with Black students and families living in poverty in the southeast United States in order to document how Black child play functions as a grassroots praxis. She is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc. (Parent LAB). Parent LAB’s mission is to enhance generational literacies through PLAY in underserved African American communities.

Julia Brazier is a mentor for Auburn University Family Child Care Partnerships and has served in this capacity for 9 years. She has 30+ years of experience as an early care/education professional, 2 of which were spent as a family child care provider. Julia has 14 years of experience in administrative positions serving, training, and mentoring family child care providers. She also served as the director of child care programs at the Bessemer YMCA for 5 years. Julia is the ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc. (Parent LAB) Board Chairwoman.

 

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT as part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.  All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch on May 1, so don’t fret if you miss any!


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


Take Your Classroom Outside! Teachable Moments on a Playful Walkabout with Jed and Julie

“The Playful Classroom: Teachable Moments on a Playful Walkabout,” with Julie P. Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, Converse College and Jed Dearybury, Director of Creativity at www.mrdearybury.com

Learning must be meaningful. Learning must be relevant. Learning must be fun. We believe play is the key to making magic happen regardless of the setting, regardless of the student, regardless of the content. Play constantly teaches us life skills, so why not bring that same experience into every area of learning?!

In this session (now given through Zoom rather than in-person), Jed and Julie will take you on a playful walkabout outside to show how you can find unstructured playful LEARNING experiences all around us that can be used in your own classroom.  The will also give an overview of their work, “The Playful Classroom: The Power of Play for ALL Ages.”

Jed Dearybury began his education career in 2001. During his 13-year early childhood classroom tenure, Jed received numerous awards. He was featured in GQ Magazine as Male Leader of the Year, met President Obama as the SC winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, and was named as a top 5 finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year because of his passion, love, and success in education. Since 2015, he has become an educational leader by providing quality, hands-on, engaging learning experiences for students and teachers across the country. Jed is also a Play Ambassador for the US Play Coalition.

Julie Jones, PhD, is Associate Professor of Education and the Director for Student Teaching in Converse College’s School of Education and Graduate Studies. She maintains an active research agenda with interests including instructional technology and pedagogy, always with a mix of creativity and play. She is a Google Certified Educator, providing regular training for K12 educators on technology integration, and she serves as the Executive Editor for the Teacher Education Journal of South Carolina, a South Carolina Association of Teacher Educators (SCATE) publication.  Julie is also a Play Ambassador for the US Play Coalition.

 

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT as part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.  All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch (May 1), so don’t fret if you miss any!


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!