US Play Coalition

Stephanie Garst's picture

The US PLAY Coalition: A Partnership to Promote the Value of Play throughout Life is made up of individuals and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life. They are housed within Clemson University’s College of Health, Education and Human Development.

The Coalition was born of The Summit on the Value of Play which took place at Clemson University in the Summer of 2009. The attendees at this important summit made a commitment to create a coalition whose purpose would be to bring together organizations and individuals in support of play and to open up opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to incorporate play into their lives.The coalition holds conferences, houses resources, and advances research in the area of play. 

Stephanie Garst is the executive director of US Play Coalition

Garst has spent the last 18 years working in nonprofits and higher education. Prior to joining the coalition, she was director of community programs and special events at Roanoke College, where she oversaw many of the college’s flagship programs. She also spent several years developing educational programs and marketing initiatives for the Science Museum of Western Virginia.

A native of Mississippi, Garst earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science degree in counseling and human development from Radford University.

US Play Coalition logo After 6 years, we decided our website needed a reboot too! Our new site gives visitors an easier way to learn about what the US Play Coalition does, why we do what we do, and how to get involved. Our new website has a fresh PLAYFUL look,...
Dr Peter Gray PLAYtalk presenter PLAYtalks are one of the new elements of The Play Conference. They are our version of TED Talks. PLAYtalks will be a series of 15-20 minute dynamic, entertaining, enlightening, engaging, inspiring, informative talks by thought leaders in the...
Rue, Mapp - Founder of Outdoor Afro The U.S. Play Coalition is proud to announce that Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, will be a keynote speaker for The Play Conference 2016: Rebooting Play, April 3-6, at Clemson University. Outdoor Afro is a community that...
Lenore Skenazy - keynote speaker at The Play Conference 2016 THE PLAY CONFERENCE 2016: REBOOTING PLAY April 3-6, 2016 at the Clemson University Conference Center and Inn Lenore Skenazy will be the first keynote speaker for The Play Conference 2016.  She is founder of the book, blog and...
US Play Coalition - Play Pulse Are youth sports an asset for children? Are vacations good for employees - and employers?  How can we make swimming safer and more accessible?  Is sitting the new smoking? These topics are addressed in the latest issue of Play...
US Play Coalition and Association for Childhood Education International Recess may be a fun part of a child’s school day, but according to research unveiled in the US Play Coalition’s latest white paper “The Critical Place of Play in Education,” nothing could be more serious – or important....
Play Pulse from US Play Coalition The Play Pulse is the newest initiative of the US Play Coalition.  It is a quarterly publication that addresses play indicators and trends, evaluating the upside and downside of each topic while providing practical actions for addressing these...
2015 US Play Coalition conference report 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...
US Play Coalition With exactly ONE MONTH until the best conference ever, check out the Speaker Schedule for the US Play Coalition 2015 Conference on the Value of Play: Advancing Play, in partnership with IPA/USA.  REGISTER TODAY! Below is an...
US Play Coalition conference The theme of the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play is Advancing Play. It will be held February 15-18, 2015 at the Madren Center, Clemson, South Carolina. Conference sessions begin at 1 PM on Sunday, February 15, 2015. The program concludes Tuesday...
US Play Coalition names new executive director, Stephanie Garst CLEMSON — Stephanie Garst has been named the new executive director of US Play Coalition at Clemson University. The US Play Coalition is a nationwide partnership to promote the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the...