In January, Archway Publishers, a division of Simon and Schuster published “Play in American Life: Essays in Honor of Joe L. Frost.” The volume included works by 17 authors highlighting the value of play in mental and emotional development. Five UIW faculty members were included in the illustrious list of authors; including Dr. David Campos, Dr. Stephanie Grote-Garcia, Dr. Norman St. Clair, Dr. Mary Ruth Moore and Connie Sabo-Risley, TCO.
The essays examine play in America from historical, psychological, economic and other perspectives. It concentrates on the troubling trend of children playing less than they did two decades ago and why allowing children to play unsupervised can foster a love of nature.
The volume includes an essay by Dr. Stuart Brown, a noted psychiatrist who examined the autopsy findings on Charles Whitman, the infamous University of Texas at Austin “Texas Tower Sniper,” as commissioned by Texas Governor John Connally. Brown is the founder and president of the National Institute for Play, a think-tank that conducts medical research about children’s play and the benefits for children.
Also included in the volume are essays by Joan W. Almon, founder of Alliance for Childhood, Darell Hammond, founder of KaBOOM, Tom Norquist, senior vice president of GameTime and PlayCore, Fran Mainella, founder of the U.S. Play Coalition, Marcy Guddemi, national child development advocate and other noted professors from around the nation.
Another UIW feature in the book is the Frost Play Research Collection housed in the Mabee Library which celebrated its 13th anniversary on campus this spring. The Frost Play Research Collection, named for Joe L. Frost, who is considered the father of play advocacy, was created with the goal of becoming the largest children’s play and play environments research collection in the United States. A board composed of UIW faculty and other advisors oversees the direction and development of the collection.
In April, the authors presented the collection at the U.S. Play Coalitions’ 2017 Conference on the Value of Play held at Clemson University and held a book signing.