Record registration, record snow, record memories!
Neither an ice storm nor a lack of power kept the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play from its laser-focus on promoting the importance of play in everyday life! The Feb. 15-18 conference, which drew play researchers and advocates from across the world, featured the unveiling of research touting recess as an essential activity that enhances children’s health, development and capacity to learn, as well as the debut of Play Pulse, a quarterly publication on play research, information and advocacy. ADD/HD expert Kevin Ross Emery and renowned psychology author Peter Gray served as keynote speakers, and the conference also included a variety of lectures, sessions and panel discussions as well as a luncheon address by Clemson First Lady Beth Clements.
The white paper is a research collaboration between the US Play Coalition and the Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI) written by Dolores A. Stegelin (Clemson University), Kathleen Fite (Texas State University) and Debora Wisneski (University of Nebraska-Omaha).
The Play Pulse, an initiative headed by Ellen O’Sullivan, will be a regular publication providing the latest research, information and action steps regarding the incorporation of play into everyday life. The publication names above are linked to the full documents online. They are also on our webpage under resources (and currently linked on the homepage!). Please spread these good works to your colleagues around the globe!
Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Conference on the Value of Play, and we are proud to have awarded $35,000 in funding to date. At the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play: Advancing Play, the new grant winners were announced. A $3,000 research seed grant is awarded to researchers who present empirical research at the Conference on the Value of Play to support new, innovative and thoughtful work on the value of play. This is seed funding in support of longitudinal or future research in diverse topics related to play, and grant recipients’ work reflects great potential for expanding knowledge in the field.
The 2015 Research Seed Grant was awarded to Richard Christiana, Joy James and Rebecca Battista for their project, “Creating Community Awareness through Prescribing Outdoor Play for Children.”
In addition to the research grant, $1000 action grants are awarded to support creative and innovative proposals to engage groups in play or to educate about the value of play. Ideas include hosting a play day, engaging more people in preexisting programs, or a whole new idea.
There were two projects that each received a 2015 Action Grant:
Play at the Core: the Importance of Play-Based Practices in Early Education, a Mixed-Methods Approach — Emily Rea, Jared Carroll, Jacob Gomez, and Sanam Jain
Providing Appropriate Play Experiences for Children with Autism — Rebecca Woodard and Zach Burt