Promoting the Value of Play

US Play Coalition - Value of Play

Through education, research, and outreach, the US Play Coalition promotes the value of play throughout life. The Coalition actively partners with organizations and individuals to amplify the call for an increased recognition of the value of play and more play in communities across the nation and world. Many of our partners support the US Play Coalition through the annual Conference on the Value of Play, an open forum for the exchange of new ideas, research, and practices across professional disciplines.

One of the newest Coalition partners is Geisinger Health System, the nation’s largest rural health services organization, and their support is a tremendous statement about the value of play to health and well-being. The US Play Coalition is also pleased to have built new partnerships with IPA/USA, who will be holding their annual meeting in conjunction with the 2014 Conference on the Value of Play, February 16-19. Furthermore the US Play Coalition welcomed new university and non-profit partners this year and would like to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of numerous other sponsors all of whom you can find linked on our website. In addition to these organizations, the US Play Coalition network includes over 2,200 individuals who participate at all levels of play research, advocacy, and practice.

Bringing these voices together and facilitating a dialogue on the value of play has been the rewarding challenge of the US Play Coalition, and we invite you to join us at our next major event: The 2014 Conference on the Value of Play: Collaboration and Creativity.

The fourth annual conference will take place February 16-19 at the Madren Center at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. The event will attract over 300 individuals from fields such as education, health, landscape architecture, business, research, teaching, medicine, park and recreation, and more. There will be keynote addresses from play visionaries including Dr. Stuart Brown, Juan Martinez, and Dr. Joe Frost as well as over 70 educational sessions offering CEUs from leaders in play from across the nation and world. 

At the conference, the US Play Coalition will award grant funding in the form of $3,000 research seed grants and $1,000 action grants. To date, this competitive grant funding process has awarded $24,000, and outcomes include: launch of the Encyclopedia of Play Science, publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, pop-up-playground build days, and more.

Year-round the US Play Coalition provides opportunities to extend play knowledge through programs and resources such as: 

  • Play Facilitation Certificate of Completion Training: an online or onsite course teaching adults how to introduce unstructured play through two different facilitation roles – supporting and directing;
  • Playground Maintenance Certificate of Completion Training: a two-day comprehensive program designed to instruct park professionals on management, inspection, repair, and documentation of safe play spaces;
  • White papers on subjects such as recess and play in education to illuminate the latest research and recommended actions for individuals to take;
  • Speaker’s Bureau presenters: inspiring professional speakers that can speak on the value of play at events nationally and internationally.

We invite you to learn more at usplaycoalition.clemson.edu where you can sign up to receive our free monthly e-newsletter under the tab “Get Involved and Join.” Help us as we help the world rediscover the power of play.

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