WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 9, 2019 — Summer is a perfect time to play outdoors and West Liberty University welcomed the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative (PPC) to campus today to observe play as part of a grant initiative.
The PPC, in partnership with Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes and Trying Together, along with Carnegie Museum of Art and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, hosted the Play for Change Unconference last fall that resulted in the $7,500 grant, now being used to enhance student life.
West Liberty University team members, Director Kate Billings (Student Activities), Associate Professor Miriam Roth Douglas (Community Education), Assistant Provost Jeremy Larance, Graduate Assistant Alecia Ford, Assistant Professor Jason Metz (Exercise Physiology), Associate Professor Kathleen Wack (Health & Physical Education) and Director Lou Karas (Center for Arts & Education) attended the conference.
Following the conference, PPC awarded grants to eight teams who came up with playful, uplifting and accessible ideas that made playful concepts a reality. WLU’s team earned one of the grants and is now creating a Topper Play Trail, which will be completed in the fall.
“We are using the grant to link existing opportunities for play with new elements. We also are creating an inventory of play activities that exist on campus so we can develop a map that details places and activities for our students and the entire campus community to enjoy,” explained Karas.
“We welcome Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Director Sarah Siplak today, along with a film crew documenting some of the activities that we are doing on campus. Several West Liberty students and children of faculty and staff are demonstrating how our project is advancing through play,” Karas said.
“We also are creating an inventory of play activities that exist so we can develop a map that details places and activities for our students and the entire campus community to enjoy,” Karas said. Some of these play activities include open pool hours, outdoor equipment like EverBlocks, intramurals and yard games. Other ideas in the works are labyrinths and more indoor and outdoor activities.
The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to advancing the importance of play in the lives of children, families and communities in the Pittsburgh region, an initiative of non-profit Trying Together.
West Liberty University offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs. For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB), visit westliberty.edu or follow WLU on social media. To view more about WLU, please visit westliberty.edu/youtube.