Advancing Play! – Call for Proposals and Registration Now Open

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Fran Mainella is Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition, Chair of the Children & Nature Network, a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University, and President of Fran Mainella Consulting, LLC.  Previously, Director Mainella served nearly six years as the 16th Director and the first woman to lead the National Park Service.  Director Mainella is a national speaker on Women in Leadership, Nature Deficit Disorder, Play, and Parks and Recreation. Director Mainella holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree, and an honorary doctorate from Central Connecticut State College.  

You are invited to join us February 15-18, 2015, for the Fifth Annual Conference on the Value of Play: Advancing Play! The anticipated event will take place at the beautiful Madren Center located at the doorstep of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.

The theme of the conference Advancing Play is focused on highlighting tactics and strategies that individuals and organizations can implement to increase play in their communities. It is also about reaching new audiences with the message that play is crucial to well-being physically, emotionally, and socially.

At our conference, leaders share the latest research and practices and also collaborate to develop new ideas and actions. You are invited to submit a presentation proposal to our peer-reviewed conference before the September 17 deadline. Complete your proposal form today by clicking on the “conferences” tab on the top of our homepage  

The US Play Coalition also facilitates two competitive grant programs through accepted presentation sessions at the annual conference. Action Grants are $1,000 awards to support creative endeavors to engage communities in play and a discussion of the value of play. Research Seed Grants are $3,000 awards to support and expand investigations into the science and knowledge of play. 

Registration is open to all. Members (membership is free) who register before November 7 receive a reduced registration rate of $249.00, which includes four meals, all educational sessions, and more. Educational sessions begin at 1 PM on Sunday, February 15 and conclude following the banquet on Tuesday evening.

For more information about becoming a member of the US Play Coalition, submitting a presentation proposal, or registering for the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play: Advancing Play, visit our website at We hope to see you in February! 

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