Hands-On Panel “Play Hour” – Playing through Metaphor and Storytelling

Join a hands-on LIVE Zoom presentation,“Playing through Metaphor and Storytelling,” with Megan Oteri, founder and CEO of Brick Scholars, Monday, April 6, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT. (Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.)

In this hands-on, minds-on playful learning STEAM workshop, participants will experience the power of using metaphors and storytelling. Participants will create models of playful learning and what it means to them, tell the story of the model they created, and connect and discuss connections between other models in the group.

Join us to gain new insights into your own understanding of playful learning as you engage in a meaningful meeting with other attendees and listen to each other’s insights about playful learning and the value it holds using metaphors and storytelling as a vehicle for discussion.

Megan Oteri is the founder and CEO of Brick Scholars, a mobile STEAM lab offering programs for people of all ages to create and learn. As an advocate for playful learning, she believes people learn best through play and when they are in a state of flow and optimally challenged in meaningful and purposeful work. She is passionate about education and stays astride of the shifting paradigms of what makes children, teens and adults engaged learners. She believes this can be accomplished through Best Practices teaching and learning methods founded on research-based and brain-based educational theory, including Constructionism educational theory. Oteri is a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop facilitator and works with businesses, schools, and organizations nationally and internationally.

 

 

 

“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!


“Play Hour” LIVE Zoom Sessions for 2020 Online Play Conference

Exclusive for our registered 2020 ONLINE Play Conference attendees…

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT

“Play Hour” is part of the live content  delivered via Zoom for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.

All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch on Friday, May 1, so don’t fret if you miss any!

Checkout our lineup for April 2020:

Friday, April 3, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Do They Even Know About Play?: Ways to Help Young Adults Reconnect with Play”
Heather Von Bank, PhD, Associate Professor, Child Development Family Studies, Minnesota State University Mankato
Pam Davis, Director of Campus Activities & Events, Clemson University
Brad Putman, PhD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, Clemson University
Erica Walker, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications, Clemson University

Monday, April 6, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Playing through Metaphor and Storytelling”
Megan Oteri, Founder/CEO, Brick Scholars

Friday, April 10, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Bringing Play to the World of Education”
Scott Bedley and Eric Saibel, Co-Founders, Global School Play Day

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“The Power of Play for ALL Ages”
Julie P. Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, Converse College
Jed Dearybury, Director of Creativity at www.mrdearybury.com

Friday, April 17, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“A Community Within: Black Child Play as Response and Protest”
Ariana Brazier, PhD Candidate and Julia Brazier, Auburn University Family Child Care Partnerships

Monday, April 20, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Ta Dah! Circus as a Teaching Tool”
Jessica Hentoff, Artistic/Executive Director, Circus Harmony

Friday, April 24, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play: Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook”
Martin LeBlanc, LBC Action and Children & Nature Network
Robyn Paulekas, Meridian Institute
Sarah Bodor, North American Assoc of Environmental Education
Dylan McDowell, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
Jayni Rasmussen with Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK)
James E. King Jr., researcher, environmental activist, and cultural responsiveness facilitator

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

THURSDAY, April 30, 1:00pm EDT/10:00am PDT
“The Relationship between Play and Relationships”
Rusty Keeler, natural playscape designer and author at Earthplay
Claude Stephens, Facilitator of Outreach and Regenerative Design at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky
Megan Dickerson, Director of Exhibitions at San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum

 

Recordings of all “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom sessions will be included in the Online Play Conference content launching May 1.  Register TODAY to join all the live sessions and gain access to the 50+ online conference sessions launching soon!

 

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 on Play in Higher Ed to be First Installment of “Play Hour Live”

A panel of university educators will discuss play in higher education in a LIVE Zoom presentation, “Do They Even Know About Play? Ways to Help Young Adults Reconnect with Play,” Friday, April 3, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT. (The session will be recorded and included in our official 2020 ONLINE Play Conference content.)

The panel discussion is the first installment of our “Play Hour”  LIVE Zoom sessions, scheduled weekly in April as part of the 2020 ONLINE Play Conference: PLAY FOR ALL. Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.

Our modern day university classrooms look, sound, and feel very different as compared to even 10 or 15 years ago. Professors are taking greater strides to engage students in course content through conversation, project based learning, and critical inquiry.

By creating inventive and playful systems of pedagogies, students can develop a deeper understanding of theories, educational pedagogies, and effective ways to work with others.

The benefits of learning and exploring new content through play let students explore new ideas through playful experiences, develop intrinsic motivation, focus more on process than product and have fun. Playful classrooms and opportunities for spontaneous learning can promote students’ development of creativity and imagination (Lieberman, 1977).

But do young adults even know how to play, or how to define play in a classroom, or if play is even acceptable?

In this panel discussion, five university educators will discuss ways they help their students playfully explore course content in a university classroom. Panelists will address the following areas through the lens of play: arts education, graphic communication, engineering, construction, and recreational activities.

Heather Von Bank, PhD (panel moderator) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Consumer Science in the area of Child Development Family Studies at Minnesota State University Mankato. For the past 11 years, she has taught a class to undergraduate students about the importance of play in the lives and development of children. The students create a play day for the community and in turn learn a lot about themselves and their own play histories.

Pam Davis works in Student Affairs at Clemson as the Director of Campus Activities & Events. They manage several indoor/outdoor venues on campus and coordinate events. Prior to her current position, she worked with the City of Greenville (SC) Parks and Recreation to implement youth and adult fitness, athletic and community programs and events, as well as coordinate the Mobi-Rec vehicle, which takes “play” all over the city, especially to lower-income areas.

Erica Walker, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson. Her recent research focuses on working with adjunct professors, in highly specified areas of visual and graphic communications, to translate their work experiences into fast-paced, game-based activities. Prior to that, her dissertation focused on the impact on that a senior design project had on students and instructors as they transitioned from a from lecture-based course to physical, interactive games.

Brad Putman, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences and is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering. He has incorporated a playful mindset into his courses, including Pavement Design and Construction where he challenges students to address real problems that engineers face using “loose parts” to create a prototype of their solution.

 

 

“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!


Outdoor Industry Asssociation’s Lise Aangeenbrug Kicks Off 2020 ONLINE Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is proud to announce Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association, will kickoff the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL with a LIVE Zoom keynote presentation, “Promoting the Power of Play.”

For the last 30 years, Lise’s career has been in service of protecting land and wildlife habitat, building parks and trails, and connecting communities to the outdoors.  Lise currently serves as the Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association, a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry. They are a force for the industry in recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation and increasing outdoor participation.

Until a few weeks ago, Lise was the executive director of the OIA’s charitable arm, the Outdoor Foundation (and she continues to serve as its president).  The Foundation is on a mission to get everyone to thrive outside.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the executive vice president for the National Park Foundation and the executive director of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund.

Upon taking the helm of the Outdoor Foundation in 2018, Lise said that she looked forward to working with her stakeholders “to collectively inspire the next generation to PLAY in and love the outdoors.”  In her new role with the Outdoor Industry Association, her focus broadens to “build thriving businesses, thriving people and a thriving planet.”

“Lise is a leader in the outdoor industry with experience in conservation and connecting people to the outdoors through the Thrive Outside Community Initiative and similar efforts. We are honored that Lise is still able to share her valuable insights with us, after we had to cancel our in-person conference.  Play is a valuable tool people can use to help address anxious times, and a necessary release when isolated at home,” says Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition.

In early March, the US Play Coalition announced they would shift their 2020 Play Conference to an online format in response to the rapid pace of the COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the ONLINE conference will be recorded educational and research sessions originally slated for that in-person conference – more than 50 presentations to date.  “Live” presentations like this one by Lise Aangeenbrug are only available to registered conference attendees.  The presentations will be recorded and included in the ONLINE conference content for those who cannot join in real time.

SPECIAL NOTE: Given that Colorado (Lise’s home state) is now under a stay-at-home order, this presentation will be low tech.  There is no production team or marketing experts creating a flashy video.  This will be Lise and a laptop…and we are grateful she will share her expertise with us.

 

 

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 will be our first-ever online Play Conference!


Play Conference Planners Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic by Moving Conference ONLINE

With the rapid pace of the COVID-19 outbreak, the US Play Coalition is officially moving its annual Conference on the Value of Play to an online format.

“We feel it’s the right and responsible thing to do,” says executive director Stephanie Garst.  “The US Play Coalition leadership feels strongly that our conference takes on a new importance at times like these. Play is a valuable tool people can use to help address anxious times, and a necessary release when isolated at home.”

The conference planning team moved quickly to get the conference moved online.  This will be the FIRST EVER ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.

“We hope you will engage with us virtually, in the interest of public health, wellness, safety and education!!” Garst said.


ONLINE Play Conference Registration includes
:

  • Access to all “live” online presentations by many of our headliners as well as other interactive live opportunities in April. The headliner presentations will also be recorded and included in the 2020 ONLINE Play Conference content.
  • Access to view 50+ recorded educational and research symposium sessions to watch and learn at your own pace from May 1 through June 30, 2020.
  • Invitation to join closed LinkedIn and Facebook groups for 2020 ONLINE Play Conference attendees to connect with PLAY colleagues, share resources and engage around the VALUE of play year-round!

The annual Conference on the Value of Play, now in its eleventh year, brings together leading 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 globe.  “PLAY FOR ALL” will explore play across the lifespan and address universal issues of health, education, access, equity, inclusion, design and more.


The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce the current slate of headliners for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.

Lise Aangeenbrug is Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association, a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry.  For the last 30 years, Lise’s career has been in service of protecting land and wildlife habitat, building parks and trails, and connecting communities to the outdoors.

Aangeenbrug will address efforts her organization is spearheading to get kids, families and entire communities PLAYING outside.  Learn more…

 

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D., is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. A superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York, Hynes has also published numerous articles and featured in numerous podcasts on school leadership.  His article on “Play, Recess and Mental Health”  was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK.

Hynes’ presentation will be “Creating a School Vision of Play and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education.”   More details...

 

There are dozens more Research Symposium and Educational Sessions at our 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Stay tuned for more details.


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 will be our first-ever online Play Conference!


Inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute to Launch at the 2020 Play Conference

“Health and PLAY” Institute

Sunday, March 29, 2020, 9:00am to 5:00pm

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce an innovative one-day program featuring health experts from across the country and aimed specifically at health practitioners.  The inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute will examine the synergies between play and health on Sunday, March 29, as part of the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.

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 (to date):

The Science of Play: What We Know
In this session, we will explore the history of play science and its relationship to human interaction, brain development and as a potential medical intervention. Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • Stuart Brown, MD, 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 – Dr. Radesky 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.

The Role of Play in Society
In this session, we ask you to explore the role of play from a population viewpoint and the role of non-profit advocacy groups and state government. Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • 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

Provider Wellbeing and Burnout: Does Play Have a Role?
During this session, we would like to you to share your thoughts on the widely recognized and growing epidemic of physician “burnout,” with an eye toward using Play as a tool combat what many refer to as “moral injury.” Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • 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.

Using Play as Bridge Between Technologies
During this session, we would like to you to introduce your specific technology platform and discuss how aspects of “Play” can be a bridge to consumer engagement and/or better health outcomes.  Invited panelists for this session:

  • 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.

 

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.


Thankful for Our
Longtime Top Supporters

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we want to give some special love to four longtime, top supporters.

Since our founding MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO (in 2009!), these four sponsors have been at our side, giving top level financial support to insure that the US Play Coalition could not only grow, but also evolve and expand its reach to spread the importance of the VALUE of PLAY.

They are truly are leaders in advancing the play movement. Their support comes from their deep belief in our work, our message, and our network.

 

Please click on their logos to learn more about each.


Headliners Announced for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce the current slate of headliners for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, at Clemson University.

John Whyte, MD, MPH is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades.  He is currently the Chief Medical Officer, WebMD.  In this role, Dr. Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues.

Whyte will share insights on social media, consumerism, health and the connection to play.  Read more…

 

Lise Aangeenbrug is Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).  For the last 30 years, Lise’s career has been in service of protecting land and wildlife habitat, building parks and trails, and connecting communities to the outdoors.  In March, Aangeenbrug will take up the mantle of Executive Director of Outdoor Industry Association and continue serving as president of the Outdoor Foundation.

Aangeenbrug will address efforts her organization is spearheading to get kids, families and entire communities PLAYING outside.  Learn more…

 

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D., is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. A superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York, Hynes has also published numerous articles and featured in numerous podcasts on school leadership.  His article on “Play, Recess and Mental Health”  was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK.

Hynes’ presentation will be “Creating a School Vision of Play and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education.”   More details...

 

In addition to these headliners, there will be dozens more amazing presenters!  Click here to see a list of the education and research symposium sessions.

 

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.

  

Here is your LAST CHANCE to
GIVE THE GIFT OF PLAY with a
year-end donation to our Grants Fund

Inspired by the generosity of so many, we are extending our action and research grant fundraising effort through December 31. Please support our action and research grants with a gift of any denomination to the US Play Coalition.

We will give 100% of all donations made through December 31, 2019, to our grants fund. There are no hidden costs or fees…everything we raise through the end of the year goes to our 2020 grants. Please go online to GIVE PLAY- http://bit.ly/DonatePlay

YOU can support PLAY by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. Big or small, your gift MATTERS!!

Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Play Conference, and we are proud to have awarded close to $60,000 in funding to date.   The 2019 grant winners are bringing play to children in Baltimore and Frisco, Texas, providing Spanish tools for families to understand the benefits of toys and developing a tool to assess the quality and efficacy of outdoor play environments.  Check out all of the projects our grants have supported over the years – https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants

Our 2019 goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant at our upcoming 2020 Play Conference.  All funds raised through 12/31/19 will go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

YOU can help us provide action and research grants in 2020 with your gift!  We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!

 

 

The U.S. Play Coalition
The U.S. Play Coalition is an international network of individuals and organizations that promotes the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the coalition is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The coalition is housed in Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department, part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences.


Chief Medical Officer of WebMD to Headline the 2020 Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce that John Whyte, MD, MPH, will be a keynote panelist for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, at Clemson University.

Dr. John Whyte is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades.

He is currently the Chief Medical Officer, WebMD.  In this role, Dr. Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues.

Dr. Whyte is a board-certified internist and continues to see patients.  He has written extensively in the medical and lay press, including two best-selling books, “Is This Normal:  The Essential Guide to Middle Age and Beyond” and “AARP New American Diet:  Lose Weight, Live Longer.”  He is passionate about changing how we think about health.

Having spent time in government, academia, and the private sector, Dr. Whyte brings a unique perspective to the annual Power PLAYer Panel that will address the theme of “PLAY FOR ALL.”  Whyte will share insights on social media, consumerism, health and the connection to play.

 

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.