Outstanding Play Researcher and Practitioner Awards Announced at 2018 Play Conference

The U.S. Play Coalition is proud to introduce its 2018 PLAY award recipients, announced at the Celebration Gala of the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play.  Established in 2017, the awards program recognizes outstanding play researchers and youth practitioners.  The winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the Play Conference.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The 2018 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research was presented to Dr. Olga Jarrett is Professor Emerita of early childhood/science education at Georgia State University, evaluator of an NSF project in Belize, and a past president of The Association for the Study of Play and the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play.

The award, named for Joe L. Frost, the contemporary father of play advocacy, recognizes a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play. Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009.

When Joe Frost himself learned of the selection committee’s choice, he wrote, “The committee has made a GREAT CHOICE. Olga is a great teacher, researcher and friend.”

Dr. Jarrett’s nominator said this in his nomination:

Dr. Jarrett has a 25-year career devoted to play advocacy and play research.  Much of her research has focused on play deprivation and its effect on economically deprived and minority children.  Using her research as support, she initiated and helped to draft legislation in Georgia that would make playtime and recess mandatory for all school children.  Her research has shown that poor and minority children are more likely to be play deprived than more advantaged children.  Dr. Jarrett has supervised many doctoral students who have conducted play research and who also have been involved in play advocacy.  Dr. Jarrett has also extended her advocacy internationally.

YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award

The U.S. Play Coalition also teamed with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute to present the Youth Development Practitioner Award. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services.

“There are many deserving practitioners across the nation, and our goal is to bring recognition to this field of service,” said Stephen Lance, executive director of the Youth Learning Institute.

The 2018 YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award recipient is Pat Rumbaugh, a play advocate and co-founder of Let’s Play America. She is known as “The Play Lady”, has for more than 10 years, been an advocate, author, and participant in play activities for youth and the young at heart. Pat has made youth development and play her life’s work, from the time she began her career as a physical education teacher to now as she provides multiple avenues for youth to grow in their play lives, but also, hone valuable business skills, learning advocacy and community involvement from one of the best.  She also wrote a children’s book called, “Let’s Play at the Playground,” which encourages children to choose outdoor play and sparks their imagination while looking at the full page photographs.


Industry Leaders Announced for Keynote “Power PLAYer Panel”

The US Play Coalition is proud
to announce the latest addition
to the keynote lineup for the
2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play

Some of the biggest names in the industry will come together for our kickoff keynote session – the “Power PLAYer Panel.”  Tackling the theme of “The Many Faces of Play” from research, health, accessibility, inclusion and museum perspectives, this is a discussion NOT to be missed!

Moderator:
Fran Mainella – Founder/Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition & Former Director of the National Park Service
Fran Mainella served as the 16th Director of the National Park Service from 2001 – 2006. She was the first woman to hold this key position. Prior to heading the National Park Service, Mainella served for twelve years as Director of Florida State Parks. She has also served as executive director of the Florida Recreation and Park Association and as president of both the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Association of State Park Directors. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and the founder and co-chair of the US Play Coalition.

Panelists:
Erwin Tan, MD – Director of Thought Leadership – Health for AARP
Dr. Erwin Tan is 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. From 2004 to 2010, he served as an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was an attending physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. From 2003-2004, Dr. Tan was a White House Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Before coming to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, he was a member of the Bio Terrorism Working Group at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. Dr. Tan was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves.

Sherril York, Ph.D. – Executive Director of the National Center on Accessibility
Dr. Sherril York is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism.  York oversees NCA operations, the cooperative agreement between Indiana University and the National Park Service, collaborative partnerships and national initiatives.  York has over 30 years of experience in accessibility and disability in physical activity development, recreation activities, and adapted sports. She can often be found talking directly to practitioners in the field on methods to successfully include people with disabilities.  York has provided consultation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park Conservancy, Grand Canyon National Park and a number of exhibit design companies on accessible exhibits.  Currently, she serves on the program planning committee for the National Recreation and Park Association Congress.

Laura Huerta Migus – Executive Director, Association of Children’s Museums

Laura Huerta Migus is the executive director of the Association of Children’s Museums, an international membership organization dedicated to advancing the work of children’s museums and early learning in informal settings. She is a passionate advocate for  the powerful learning experiences and environments museums offer – especially for children and families that are traditionally marginalized in formal learning systems. Ms Huerta Migus, previously of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc. (ASTC), brings more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing professional development experiences and international partnerships for creating culturally responsive and inclusive educational and organizational environments. Previous appointments include positions at the National MultiCultural Institute and the National Association for Bilingual Education.

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 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.

 

NPR Correspondent and Author to give PLAYtalk on Screen Time and Play

Anya Kamenetz will be a PLAYtalk presenter at the  2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

Anya Kamenetz is the lead digital education correspondent for National Public Radio. She is the author of several books about learning and the future. Her latest book is The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (PublicAffairs, 2018).

Kamenetz’s 2018 PLAYtalk presentation is titled “From FaceTime to PlayTime: How Screens Can Fit into a Playful World.”

Kamenetz covered technology, innovation, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship for five years as a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. She’s contributed to The New York TimesThe Washington PostNew York Magazine, Slate, and appeared in documentaries shown on PBS and CNN.

Kamenetz was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received 2009, 2010, and 2015 National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for innovation in 2017 along with the rest of the NPR Ed team.

 

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 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.

 

Panel of Leaders in Parks & Recreation field to Keynote at the 2018 Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce that a panel of leaders in the Parks and Recreation field will discuss “The Implications of Race on Play for Youth of Color” as a keynote panel for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

Play is vital to the development of youth. In the US, play provides a way for young people to learn about roles, boundaries, and expectations; community values; and personal opportunities. There’s a freedom that’s attached to play as youth explore the world around them. For youth of color however, these benefits are not always readily available. At an early age, they are taught that certain rules apply to them as a result of their Race. For some, the options for the type of play, where it can take place, and with whom are limited. These limitations are often placed on youth by their parents and other caring adults as a means of protecting them. In short, the benefits of play are only afforded to certain youth in our country.

Keynote Panelists include:

  • Myron Floyd, Ph.D. – Professor and Head – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, NC State University
  • Corliss Outley, Ph.D. – Associate Department Head and Associate Professor – Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • Rasul Mowatt, Ph.D. – Associate Professor and Chair – Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Panel Moderator: Harrison Pinckney, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor – Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Clemson University

A historical perspective will be offered to establish a foundation for the relationship between Race and play for youth of color. Contemporary examples will be provided to highlight concerns that parents today have for their youth, how they prepare their youth to engage their local community, and how youth use these lessons to shape their own play experiences. Attention will also be given to understanding the support that communities and its members can provide to truly offer parents and youth of color the benefits of play.

This will be a thought-provoking session designed to equip attendees to serve our increasingly diverse communities.

 

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 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.

  

2018 Lineup of Pre-Conference Play Institutes Announced

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 lineup of Pre-Conference PLAY Institutes for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.

These PLAY Institutes are 3-hour topic-specific trainings that take place on Sunday, April 8 from 11:00am-2:30pm (includes a 30 minutes break).  Registration is required.  Cost is just $25 for conference attendees to attend the institute of your choice (or $50 for non-conference attendees).  Click on each of the titles below to learn more.

Utilizing Play: Creating the Balance between Teaching and Learning
Kimberly P. Johnson, Ed. D., Author, Curriculum Design Specialist
Sometimes, we feel that the only way to gauge success is through what statistics and benchmarks determine. However, the reality is that it takes a great deal of balance between research and the actual steps needed to teach and maintain success in the setting. True teaching requires an understanding of the intersections of play, teaching and learning. This institute will help participants utilize play to develop a balance between teaching and learning in such a way that it will inspire one to create positive interactions within schools, after-school programs and communities.  Learn more…

A Playful Pedagogy: Introduction to Playwork
Linda Kinney, Manager of Playful Pedagogy at the North Carolina Zoological Park
This institute looks at the value of play and the importance of the adult in support of the playing child. Activities encourage deeper thinking into our role in children’s play as we explore open-ended ways to work with children using approaches employed in the playwork profession.  The institute’s aim is to help participants strengthen knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to inspire and support play, every day. Activities will take place both indoors and out.  Learn more…

Effective Playground Protective Surfacing: The Key Element for Risk Assessment under the new ASTM F1487
Rolf Huber, Canadian Playground Advisory Inc.
Ken Kutska, International Playground Safety Institute, Inc.
Every type of surface has the potential to fail to perform as expected.  Manufacturers and distributors are obligated to market the advantageous aspects of their products but what questions should the owner/purchaser be asking of the supplier.  Playgrounds are a place of wonder for all to enjoy irrespective of ability or age. Without the knowledge necessary to purchase the appropriate surface system for your playground you are likely to experience problems with maintaining your playground in compliance with the current public playground standards and guidelines. Learn more…

These Pre-conference Play Institutes are available to conference attendees as an add-on option for just $25 per person or as a stand alone option for $50 per person. Pre-registration is required.
 

Physician and Author to give PLAYtalk on “Playful Intelligence”

Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD, will be a PLAYtalk presenter at the  2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

DeBenedet is a practicing physician and behavioral-science enthusiast. His interviews and writings have run in various media outlets, including the New York Times, the Today show, the Washington Post, and TIME Ideas. He is also author of Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World (Santa Monica Press, 2018), a book about the hidden ways that playfulness influences adulthood, and co-authored The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It (Quirk Books, 2011), a parenting book about the importance of parent–child physical play.

DeBenedet’s 2018 PLAYtalk presentation is titled “Playful Intelligence.” Blending counterintuitive observations, anecdotes, and research across a range of disciplines―notably medicine, psychology, sociology, history, neuroscience, and economics—DeBenedet’s PLAYtalk will explore how playfulness impacts everyday life in profound and unexpected ways.

In adulthood, stress has a monopolizing effect on much of what we do. Interestingly, in response to this, the amount of time we spend playing doesn’t change. But the playful part of our personalities does—and often to the detriment of our well-being. Playful Intelligence offers a framework for counteracting this change and keeping the power of living lightly within reach.

 

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 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.

 

Now Accepting Nominations for 2018 Outstanding Researcher and Youth Practitioner Awards

The U.S. Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 2018 awards program, recognizing outstanding play research and youth practitioners.  First awarded at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play, this new awards program honors exceptional individuals each year.  The winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.  Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm EST on December 15.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research honors its namesake, the contemporary father of play advocacy.  The award recognizes someone for a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

“Joe Frost has been an influencer for our organization’s work as well as for the world of play,” said Stephanie Garst, executive director of the U.S. Play Coalition. “This award is a fitting tribute.”

Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known across the world for his more than 30 years of work on early childhood and children’s play environments. Past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and International Play Association/USA, he is the author or co-author of 18 books and numerous publications and has also served as a consultant for playgrounds worldwide.

Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009. He served as a keynote speaker that year at the coalition’s first conference – then called the Summit on the Value of Play –and has been an honorary chair for each successive conference.

 

YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award

The U.S. Play Coalition teamed with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute for the Youth Development Practitioner Award. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services. (The nominee does NOT have to be affiliated with Clemson University.)

“There are many deserving practitioners across the nation, and our goal with this award is to bring recognition to this field of service,” said Stephen Lance, executive director of the Youth Learning Institute.


Now Accepting Nominations for the 2018 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The US Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its second annual Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research.  This award is given annually in recognition of a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play. The 2018 award winner will be named at the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, SC.

The inaugural Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research was presented to its namesake – Joe L. Frost, the contemporary father of play advocacy.  “Joe Frost has been an influencer for our organization’s work as well as for the world of play,” said Stephanie Garst, executive director of the U.S. Play Coalition. “The creation of this award is a fitting tribute.”

Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known across the world for his more than 30 years of work on early childhood and children’s play environments. Past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and International Play Association/USA, he is the author or co-author of 18 books and numerous publications and has also served as a consultant for playgrounds worldwide.

Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009. He served as a keynote speaker that year at the coalition’s first conference – then called the Summit on the Value of Play –and has been an honorary chair for each successive conference.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research.  Deadline for nominations is December 15, 2017. The 2018 winner will be notified in mid-January and recognized at the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play at Clemson University, April 8-11, 2018.  The winner will have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the Play Conference.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

Purpose:
This is to be awarded annually in recognition of an individual’s body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

Evaluation Criteria:
The basis for selection will be the degree to which the nominee has achieved an exceptional research contribution as evidenced by publications, patents, citations, or other criteria deemed important by experts in the field. Outstanding research contributions can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, theoretical advances, experimental results, development of programs and tools.


Nature Fix Author Florence Williams to Speak October 31

The US Play Coalition is proud to partner with the Clemson University Institute for Parks for a special presentation by author Florence Williams.

2017 George B. Hartzog, Jr. Lecture

“Does Nature Make Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative?”

Tuesday, October 31 @ 2:00pm
Brooks Center, Clemson University

This lecture is free and open to the public.  A book signing reception will follow the lecture.

Florence Williams is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones, High Country News, O-Oprah, W., Bicycling and numerous other publications.

A fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, her work focuses on the environment, health and science.

Williams’ book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier and More Creative has been described as “an intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author.”

For her Hartzog Lecture, Williams will discuss emerging science regarding the benefits of nature to human development and how it is instrumental to our physical and mental well-being. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas and her conclusions are more urgent than ever.

Florence Williams’ lecture is sponsored by the Clemson University Institute for Parks and the US Play Coalition. The Hartzog Lecture Series in Park and Conservation Area Management was developed to feature leading figures in the field of conservation.


Chief Playmaker and Founder of The Life is Good Kids Foundation to Keynote the 2018 Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce that Steve Gross will be the first keynote speaker for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

Steve Gross is the Founder and Chief Playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation. He is a pioneer in utilizing playful engagement and meaningful relationships to overcome the devastating impact of early childhood trauma.

Steve’s 2018 keynote presentation is titled “Spreading the Power of Optimism through Play.”

Steve is serious about play – and its tremendous benefits for all people. The Life is good Kids Foundation is a non-profit organization that for twenty years has used play to help children overcome life threatening challenges such as poverty, violence and illness. A recognized expert in utilizing, joyful play to promote resiliency in children, he has extended those insights to adults, reconnecting them to the passionate, joyful and playful selves that enable them to be their best in and out of the workplace.

Through research, first-hand lessons learned in his crisis response efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and his uniquely humorous and participatory engagement with audiences, Steve demonstrates how to use playfulness to energize individuals, teams and organizations – especially in challenging, change-filled times – allowing them to reach their full potential.

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 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.