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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.