02-09-21 | Feature

US Play Coalition

2020 National Association Report
by Stephanie Garst, US Play Coalition

Rusty Keeler, a natural playscape designer and author, leading a seminar about "The Relationship between Play and Relationships."
Michael J Hynes, superintendent of schools in Long Island, NY & public school advocate, speaks on "Creating a School Vision of Play and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education" at the US Play Coalition's 2020 Online Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.
Executive director Stephanie Garst
Co-chair Brett Wright
Co-chair Fran P. Mainella

Founded in 2009, the US Play Coalition is a partnership to promote the value of play throughout life. We are an international network of individuals and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life.

Housed at Clemson University, the coalition hosts conferences and educational trainings, encourages and conducts research and provides avenues of communication about the value of play worldwide.

Our membership comes from a cross-section of industries and professions
- play researchers, educators, park and recreation professionals, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians, parents and more.

In March 2020, the US Play Coalition was faced with shifting our annual professional development conference to an online delivery in less than three weeks. Despite the quick pivot, there was an extraordinary response to our FIRST EVER ONLINE 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL - over 500 attendees from 16 countries spanning 6 continents, 37 US States (plus DC) and 7 Canadian Provinces! While it did not replace the unique experience of our in-person play conference, we clearly filled a broad need for affordable, accessible, safe professional development and networking.

With our 2021 VIRTUAL Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY IS SURVIVAL kicking off this spring, there is a renewed intensity to connect play advocates, educate our national and global community, support play research and publications, and truly fulfill our mission to promote the VALUE of play throughout life. We hope you will join us!

Visit our website and click "Get Involved" to join. Membership is free, and simply requires a declaration of shared commitment to the value of play.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest and visit often to keep up with the latest news, research & events!

As seen in LASN magazine, December 2020.


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