VIDEO: A Tale of Two School Superintendents – A Conversation with Michael Hynes & Danny Merck

Keynote speaker Michael Hynes treated a small group of school administrators and leaders to witness an honest conversation with fellow school superintendent Danny Merck.  While Dr. Hynes oversees an urban New York school district of close to 6,000 students, Dr. Merck is superintendent in rural Pickens County, South Carolina, serving more than 16,000 students.

School Administrators Round Table:
A Conversation with Michael Hynes & Danny Merck

Both passionate play and recess advocates influenced by their respective experiences in Finland, these two superintendents pulled back the curtain on the challenges they are grappling with to ensure our children will still have play and recess when they return to school. They talked about their philosophies and discuss nuts and bolts about what they HOPE can happen while being realistic with their plans and considerations. It was an organic dialogue with aimed to “workshop ideas” that will help other school administrators and leaders struggling with the pressures of the pandemic slide and the desire to support the basic needs of our children.

Danny Merck, Ed. D., has 28 years of experience as an educator in South Carolina public schools. He is a former member of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee and is in his fifth year as superintendent of the School District of Pickens County.  Dr. Merck returned from Finland in Fall 2018 and began implementing increased play and recess opportunities in several elementary schools in the district with impressive results in the classroom.  Wanting to give that professional experience to as many as he could in his district, Dr. Merck then hosted 14 Finnish educators from the Oulu University Teacher Training School, who offered professional learning to more than 700 teachers and administrators in his district over the course of 9 days.

Michael Hynes, Ed. D., is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. As a superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York, it is his mission to spread the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. Dr. Hynes is also an Associate Professor at Long Island University/Post and Stony Brook University, teaching courses in School Law, Curriculum and Instruction and School Leadership and has published numerous articles and podcasts on school leadership and his belief in public education.  His article “Kids Need Play and Recess: Their Mental Health Depends on It” was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK. Dr. Hynes is author of the newly released best-selling book “Staying Grounded: 12 Principles to Transform School Leader Effectiveness.”

Below is the full video of the conversation, recorded live on Zoom, June 18, 2020 – “School Administrators Round Table: A Conversation with Michael Hynes & Danny Merck.”

Please note that this conversation occurred before either superintendent knew what the plan for the new school year would be in their districts.  

 

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


VIDEO: Schools Re-Opening? Why it Will be More Important Than Ever to Create a Play-Full Recess

As schools reopen, it is important to remember that recess is an essential component of an educational approach that considers the whole child.  A supportive school recess plan can benefit both students and teachers, back from months of interrupted routines, boredom, loneliness, family stress, anxiety and often a lack of physically active and social play.

As part of the 2020 Online Conference on the Value of Play, some of the founding members of the Global Recess Alliance (detailed below) shared practices and policies to ensure that recess provides a setting where inclusive, meaningful safe play occurs.

“Schools Re-Opening? Why It Will Be More Important Than Ever to Create A Play-Full Recess”

Panelists include:

Watch the full video of the panel presentation recorded live on Zoom, June 24, 2020: “Schools Re-Opening? Why it Will be More Important Than Ever to Create a Play-Full Recess”

 

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


Award Winning Play Bracelets Return for 2020!

Our 10th anniversary play swag took home the “2019 Best Merchandise” Excellence Award from the South Carolina Festivals and Events Association earlier this year.

The SCFEA Excellence Awards celebrate the best from South Carolina!  Our “PLAY FOR LIFE” cuff bracelet, featured at our 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE, won the 2019 Best Merchandise award earlier this year.  Seemed only fitting for us to do an encore campaign and add this year’s theme to the mix!!

So order our AWARD WINNING PLAY CUFF BRACELETS through Aug 2 (even if the order form still says July 31)!

Made locally in Clemson, South Carolina. These very popular cuff bracelets are available in three colors – silver, gold and rose gold.

Each color can have one of three phrases:

PLAY FOR ALL

PLAY FOR LIFE

PLAY IS SURVIVAL

Support the US Play Coalition and PLAY by purchasing a PLAYful bracelet!
They make great graduation, birthday, holiday or “just because” gifts, so order as many as you want!
Order yours before time runs out…!!!!

Overview
• Handmade item
• Material: Aluminum, Brass, Copper
• Bracelet length: 6 Inches
• Bracelet width: 1/4 Inches
• Adjustable: Yes
• Style: Minimalist

Please note: Shipping is only available in the US at this time.  Shipping in the US is just $3.50.
OR! Locals can save on shipping with pickup at the US Play Coalition office at Clemson University

 


10th Anniversary PLAY FOR LIFE Shirt Available thru Aug 1

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  Order your limited edition 10th Anniversary play shirt through August 1!  Proceeds support our action and research grants!

Just in time for your summer PLAY days!  You can PLAY in style!!  There are 5 color options in unisex short or long sleeve AND youth short sleeve styles.

Go Up the Slide
Rough & Tumble
Jump in the Puddles
Take Risks
Play Outside
Make Believe
Roll in the Dirt
Run Your Fastest
Slide, Swing, Leap
Adapt, Imagine
Play for All
PLAY FOR LIFE

Order online before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST on August 1!!

 


Panel of Experts to Discuss Why Recess Is Essential When Schools Re-Open

The Global Recess Alliance (GRA) is a newly-formed international collective of health and educational leaders that has provided evidence to suggest a quality recess is an essential component of an educational approach that considers the whole child. Given this, the GRA is urging school administrators to consider recess a critical priority as schools begin to reopen.

Hear from a special panel presentation by some of the founding members of the new Global Recess Alliance.

“Schools Re-Opening? Why It Will Be More Important Than Ever to Create A Play-Full Recess.”

Recorded with a live Zoom audience on June 24, 2020.

As schools reopen, a supportive school recess can guide both students and teachers back from months of interrupted routines, boredom, loneliness, family stress, anxiety and often a lack of physically active and social play. With voices from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, the Global Recess Alliance panel (detailed below) will highlight practices and policies to ensure that recess provides a setting where inclusive, meaningful safe play occurs.

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

Panelists include:

Catherine Ramstetter, Ph.D.

Successful Healthy Children, Cincinnati, OH

Lead author of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Policy on Recess


William V. Massey, Ph.D.

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Lead researcher on the Great Recess Framework

Debbie Rhea, Ph.D.

Professor and The LiiNK Project Director, Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX

Author of Wrong Turns, Right Moves in Education

 

Olga Jarrett, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, Georgia State University, Atlanta

Author of A research-based case for recess: Position paper (2019)

Brendon Hyndman, Ph.D.

Charles Sturt University, Australia

Author of Contemporary School Playground Strategies for Healthy Students

Anna Beresin, Ph.D.

University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Author of Recess Battles: Playing, Fighting, and Storytelling

 

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


The ABCs of the 2020 ONLINE Play Conference Educational Sessions
and Research Symposium

The full detailed schedule is coming soon…but until then, below is an alphabetical list of the Educational Sessions and Research Symposium Sessions that have been recorded for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.

          

  • Adapting Play for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Advocating for Risky Play
  • The All New Voice of Play Website: How to Maximize This Exciting New Resource
  • The American Association for Promoting the Child’s Right to Play – IPA USA Information Session
  • Applying a Task-Person-Environment Approach to Designing Play Studies
  • “As a parent, if I can…”: Parents’ Perception and Design of Children’s Out of School Time
  • Building an Outdoor Classroom Anywhere
  • Child play network influences on physical literacy in Mexican-heritage Colonias
  • Creativity and Outdoor Play – The recipe for all children
  • Designing Successful Play Partnerships:  PlayBuild + Tulane University
  • Determining obesity rates in children with multiple play breaks in schools daily
  • Documenting Children’s Play: Including the Child’s Voice
  • Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth Through Meaningful Play and Recreation Opportunities
  • Encouraging Time Outdoors in Naturalized Learning Environments in S. Carolina Childcare Facilities
  • Examining the link between recess quality and classroom behavior in elementary school children
  • Free Aquatic Play in a Controlled World
  • Furnishing for Adult Play: Developing a social play space for a multidisciplinary research community
  • Green Schoolyards : Neighborhood Amenity to National Necessity
  • Guide to Implementing Play Streets in Rural Communities: A Tool to Increase Active Play
  • How Principles in Play Connect to Pedagogy in Gifted Education and Talent Development
  • The Influence of Preschool Educators’ Beliefs About Play-Based Learning on Instructional Delivery
  • Is Your Recess Toolbelt Equipped?
  • Joining In: Parent Perspectives on Specially Designed Inclusive Play
  • Keeping the Recess in Indoor Recess: Creating Playable Spaces Anywhere!
  • Leisure & Late Adulthood: Examining the Benefits of Participation during Retirement
  • Local Sources for Play Space Materials and Labour – Its the Design that Counts
  • Lost Opportunities: How Teaching Interferes with Learning
  • Messy, Muddy, and Marvelous: Forest Schools, Education and Play
  • Movement & Learning: What’s the Connection?
  • Movement in Middle School – Application of the Transtheoretical Model for Physical Activity
  • Pedaling to Safe Play: Factors Related to Youth Self-Efficacy for Injury Prevention Bicycle Skills
  • Play and Family
  • Play ranging with the Hidden Children: Notes from the field
  • Play, Dementia & Alzheimers: Life and Fun Following Diagnosis
  • Playing the Eduspeak Speak Game: Tips on Aligning Lessons with Play Principles
  • PlaySchool:  How to Infuse Play into K12 Education
  • Raptors & Ruderals: What do we mean by ‘nature play’ in an urban environment?
  • Same Game, Different Play
  • Seniors and preschoolers design toys together: An intergenerational play project in Finland
  • Unstructured play in schools is linked to positive health benefits for teachers
  • #WePlayChat: How to Use Social Media to Drive the Value of Play in a Virtual World
  • Wilding nature play for children and families
  • Yes, And: The Power of Teaching With Improvisational 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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


10th Anniversary Limited Edition PLAY FOR LIFE Shirt

For our 10th Anniversary we have something special up our sleeve…PUN INTENDED!

HURRY! We have a VERY LIMITED TIME t-shirt campaign for our 10th Anniversary!
There are 5 color options on unisex short sleeve, long sleeve or youth short sleeve options.

Order online before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST April 7!!

https://www.bonfire.com/us-play-coalition-10th-anniversary/


10th Anniversary
Limited Edition Play Swag

For our 10th Anniversary we have a few special things up our sleeve…PUN INTENDED!

 

HURRY! We have a VERY LIMITED TIME t-shirt campaign for our 10th Anniversary Conference!
There are 5 color options on unisex short sleeve, long sleeve or youth short sleeve options.

Order before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST March 12! (we will do another campaign soon)

*IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE PLAY CONFERENCE, EMAIL STEPHANIE AT SPGARST@CLEMSON.EDU TO BE PART OF A BULK ORDER AND AVOID SHIPPING COST!!!

Order online:

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!!
Our 10th anniversary swag just got FANCY!!!

Made locally in Clemson, South Carolina. These very popular cuff bracelets are available in three colors – silver, gold and rose gold. Support the US Play Coalition and PLAY by purchasing a PLAYful bracelet!

Order now through March 20 and choose “pickup” to avoid shipping and pickup at the Play Conference! Otherwise it is just $3.50 to ship in the US. (only available in the US at this time.)

They make great gifts, so order as many as you want!

Order yours before time runs out…!!!!

http://bit.ly/play-bracelets


The ABCs of the 10th Anniversary Play Conference Educational Sessions and Research Symposium

The full detailed schedule is coming soon with even more session titles…but until then, below is an alphabetical list of the Educational Sessions and Research Symposium that have been confirmed for the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.

Check back often because we will update the list as our presenters continue to confirm their sessions.

 playing with boxes from Pat Rumbaugh     DSCF1349    IMG_2667    

Be sure to REGISTER TODAY because the early bird deadline for this PLAYful conference is February 15.

Addressing Child Mental Health Through Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)
Approaches for Evaluating the Design of Natural Playspaces To Support Children’s Outdoor Play
Blank Slate: Design for Learning, Exploration and Physical Growth
Bringing A Change to The Recess Culture to Support Well-Being
Bringing Play to The World of Education!
The Bugket List: Exploring for Tiny Creatures Provides Gargantuan Benefits
Building Trust, Hope, And Healing Through Play: A Community Pop-Up School
“But, I Have Nothing to Do in The Park!” – Thinking About Places for Teens
Camping, Hiking, Playing: Lifelong Learning Today
Children Learning the Value of Play for Life
College Students Play Too!: Inclusive Campus Recreation at Clemson University
Creating Future Innovators Through Creative Play and STEM Learning
Developing Minds and Bodies Through Loose Parts Play
Educational Play: How Modern Technology Can Facilitate Learning While Playing Outdoors.
The Effects of Unstructured Play on Listening Effort in Elementary Schools
Elevating Lifelong Play to Create Healthy Communities
Engaging Students in Mathematics Play: Making Fractions Fun
Establishing Adaptive Sports Programs for Youth with Moderate to Severe Disabilities
Examining Kindergarten Readiness Skills Using A Play-Based, Nature-Focused Preschool Curriculum
A Field-Testing Study on Outdoor Play Environments: Findings and Lessons Learned
Forest Schools: The Value of Play, Autonomy, And Creativity
Free for All Baltimore: Playing After School in A Segregated City
From Exhausting to Energizing:  Creating an Environment Where Youth Thrive
From Unequal Playing Field to Play Ambassadors
Get Ready, Get Set, Go Noodle!
Globally Connecting as We Play Mystery Skype
Guerrilla Playfare: Lessons Learned from Parkour & Streetsport For Designing More Play-Friendly Cities
How to Make Your Community Playful
I’m Tired of Saying “No”: Creating Invitations for Boisterous and Adventurous Play in The Classroom
Impact of Decline in Play on Children and Youth in India: An Awareness Campaign
The Impact of Play on Overweight/Obese Children in Elementary Schools
Incorporate Play into Your Workplace
International Play Ambassador Perspectives
Introducing Innovative Technology to Children’s Play to Encourage Self-Expression
Kindergarten Matters
Learning Through Doing: The Benefits to Learning Through Planning for Inclusive Play
Let’s Make A Mess!: The Intersectionality of Sensory Play and Early Literacy
Lifetime Friendships Formed Through Play
Loose Parts Play Builds Tight Communities
Making Play Equitable & Inclusive
Move. Think. Learn: A Playful Approach to Learning in Grades K-8
Moving ~ From Start to Finish! Healing Effects of Play on Families & Caregivers Affected by Trauma
Music in The Museum: An Accessible, Inclusive, And Interactive Collaboration
Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environments in Childcare Facilities: A Review of Policies In 3 States
Nourishing Imagination and Protecting Pretend Play
Perceptions of Capacities: The Value of Play, Autonomy, And Creativity in Forest Schools
Play Across Generations: A Literature Review of Intergenerational Learning Experiences
Play by The River – Bringing Natural, All-Ages Play to A New River Garden by The Mississippi
Play Facilitation for Adults
Play Is Survival: Time for Time Outs
Play Your Way to Optimal Well-Being
Play: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore!
Playable Infrastructure
Playful Productivity: Strategies to Unleash Your Professional Child
Playing from Scratch – Not Just for Kids
Playing to Learn Is for Grown-Ups, Too!  A Summer Graduate Course on Play at A PDS Summer Camp.
Playing with I Bambini: Reflections from A Study Abroad Experience in Reggio Emilia, Italy
Playtime Politics: The Growing Mismatch Between Biology and Culture
Ramshackle Play – Resilient, Reliable, Ready
Reframing the Playground: European Play Precedents at Tulsa’s Gathering Place
The Role of a Playground Consultant
Rotary Playgarden: An Inclusive Play Success Story
Scholarly Snapshots: The Importance of The Child’s Right to Play
The Secret to Work/Life Balance=PLAY
Sensory Inclusive Play: Partnering with Kultcurecity To Become Sensory Inclusive Certified
The 7 Elements of Play on  Playground
Small Scientists Society: Encouraging Play-Based STEM Explorations in Informal and Formal Settings
Socio-Environmental Barriers to Outdoor Play and Their Impact on Child Health Outcomes
Supported PLAY to Maximize FLOW In K-8 Classrooms
Tailoring Play into The Everyday: Playing Throughout Zoos, Museums, Aquariums and Nature Centers
Taking the Idea of An Inclusive Playground Past the Label to True Universal Design
Talk and Play: Using Play to Build Language Skills in Young Children
Teaching Play as A Learning Medium in Teacher Education Program
Temple University Students Design an Eco-Schoolyard for Play and Learning at Greenberg Elementary
The Emergence of Foreign Language in A Play-Based Kindergarten: A Spanish FLES Program
Tin Foil, Tape, And Play-Doh OH MY!
Traffic Gardens and Dramatic/Challenging Play: Engagement as A Means of Facilitating Risk Competence
What’s Wrong with Playing Games?
When I Grow Up…Learning Responsible Citizenship Through Play!
When to Play and When to Get Out of The Way
Why Play Matters: The State of Recess in North America
Y’all, Yous, and You Guys: Considering the Language of Play

 

…and MANY, MANY MORE!!  You don’t want to miss this exciting professional development opportunity!  Join us at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, March 31 – April  3 at Clemson University.


US Play Coalition partners
with Nickelodeon for the
15th annual Worldwide Day of Play

Nickelodeon is inspiring kids to embrace the transformative power of play and lead active lifestyles with its annual Worldwide Day of Play on Saturday, September 29.

2018 marks the 15th year of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP).  Once again, the US Play Coalition is a partner with Nickelodeon for this important and FUN-omenal endeavor!  This year, the US Play Coalition helped to craft the official 2018 Partner Playbook, a planning guide for grassroots play events, complete with tips on ways to celebrate play and play activity ideas from US Play Coalition and other national partners like Afterschool Alliance, Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Girl Scouts of the USA, Kiwanis; Laureus Sport for Good, National Fitness Foundation, NFL PLAY 60, Playworks, Police Athletic League, Special Olympics, The Aspen Institute and USA BMX.

So get inspired by WWDoP and plan a Play Day in YOUR community!  It doesn’t have to be September 29 – Play Day can be any day!  Visit http://www.worldwidedayofplay.com/ for tips on ways to celebrate play and the official 2018 Playbook to help plan your own Worldwide Day of Play activities.

Check out the US Play Coalition’s Road to the Worldwide Day of Play event…!

4th Annual Clemson Community Play Day
Saturday, September 22, 11:00am-2:00pm
Nettles Park, Clemson, SC

The US Play Coalition and Clemson Parks and Rec are teaming up again for our annual Clemson Community Play Day as part of Nickelodeon’s Road to the Worldwide Day of Play. Our friends from Clemson University, the Outdoor Lab and Pickens County First Steps will be there too!  Join us for inflatables, games, crafts, photo ops and more!!! There will be a designated toddler play space AND opportunities to get wet!!  It’s FREE fun for all ages! Pack a lunch and stay for a while!  GET UP, GET OUT & GO PLAY!