March - April 2007

If one person in this country could give a "State of Play" address, I wonder what she would say. Take, for instance, the President's most recent address. He talked about some landmark changes this past year, one of them being the first appointed "Madam" Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

What are our "watershed" events related to play? It seems they should be about our children coming in first when it comes to play time. They aren't though, which is fueling concerns about obesity in our future leaders. Will the future specialty clothing shops be the Below Average (thin) shops? One has to wonder where we are headed. Change can be good, but it's a little sketchy in this case it seems.

It would be wonderful if children were doing their homework and getting 30 minutes of exercise each day after school, but it seems more likely they are playing video games if available. That's not to say that they should never play video games, but it seems "moderation" has gone out the window.

We seem either very focused on work, academics, or other important things that lead to achievement. I encourage achievement with my children, friends, everyone I know. I worked for several years while going to college and raising three children. Achievement and the desire to create change where I can are in my blood, but I have also learned the importance of the state of play along the way and see we need to monitor the direction of play closely so it doesn't change so much that it doesn't exist.

My favorite thing about any new year is the possibility for progress on many levels. This year marks the seventh year of circulation of

Today's Playground magazine and I am pleased to have been able to educate our leadership about the advancements we are seeing in the playground industry and keep the lines open on important matters.

Along the line of change and even further education, we have added a new department in our magazine, NPSI Niche, which will contain information from the NPSI (National Playground Safety Institute). This department is intended to be a source of information for Certified

Playground Safety Inspectors within the NPSI organization, but will also help to educate others on the organization, its mission, and to update all with the latest NPSI happenings. We're excited to work with NPSI on this and to pass this information on to you. We're sure you'll find that it's valuable and timely information for all who share the common goal of facilitating safe, challenging and fun avenues of play for children.

Please enjoy the addition of this new department, and feel free to contact contributors or Today's Playground with any questions you may have. By keeping communication open and sharing information, we have a greater chance of being that change we want to see and contributing to a healthy future for our children.