We call it Giving TuesPLAY! On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the US Play Coalition will be a part of #GivingTuesday, encouraging you to support play by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Play Conference, and we are proud to have awarded $47,000 in funding to date. This year's grant winners and their projects are featured in the collage above. Check out all of the projects our grants have supported over the years – https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants.

One of our 2017 Action Grant winners was Harper’s Playground, the first fully-inclusive, nature-based community playground in Portland, OR. Harper’s Playground aims to increase awareness about and widespread replication of their inclusive playground model. To further this work, they have an annual “Community Play Day” that brings diverse people, families and community partners together to raise awareness, to elevate conversations and, most importantly, to make more play for more people.

According to Britt Stetson, Development Director for Harper’s Playground, “the 2017 Action Grant Award lead to significantly increased engagement in and impact of this event. In the past, given a small staff, the event was community-organized and informally promoted with no financial resources. This award meant we were able to give a small stipend to volunteer event organizer, allowing her to dedicate considerable time to event planning and promotion. We were also able to fund promotion and day-of activities for participants. The result: our most robust Community Play Day to-date with well-organized and elevated participation from local partner organizations and greater attendance by children and families all across the Portland Metro Area. Because of our 2017 Action Grant Award, significantly more families have experienced the power of inclusive play at Harper’s Playground, turning them into active, year-round playground goers and advocates and ambassadors of our work.”

We are thrilled that our 2017 Action Grant was so meaningful for Harper’s Playground! Our action grants are $1,000 grants to facilitate play in communities. These grants support creative and innovative proposals to engage groups in play or to educate about the value of play. The Harper’s Playground story is just one of more than a dozen amazing Action Grant recipients we have supported. In addition to Action Grants, our Research Grants are $3,000 grants awarded for empirical research that supports new, innovative and thoughtful work on the value of play. These awards are seed funds in support of longitudinal or future research in diverse topics related to play, and grant recipients’ work reflects great potential for expanding knowledge in the field. Check out all of the play trailblazers whose projects received Action and Research Grants over the years online at https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants.

Our 2017 Giving TuesPLAY goal is to raise funds for at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant. We are on our way, thanks to a jump start challenge from our co-chair and our amazing steering committee. Now we challenge YOU! You can help us provide action and research grants in 2018 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift! Join the global movement and donate on Tuesday, November 28! Big or small, your gift matters!! We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!