19 things for '19

KOOP Adventure Play had an amazing 2018! We started with a new logo and new community connections, we got our first grants, offered a bazillion free community play events, hosted our first national conference: Prioritizing Play, hired new staff and held continued training in playwork, we doubled our summer camp offerings and counted nearly 1000 hours of child- directed play with loose parts... It was a BIG year for play in CU + beyond!

This year... we continue building! Here are 19 things at the top of my list for 2019:

  1. More Play. Next December let's surpass 1000 hours! Let's do this!

  2. Scholarships: We opened a scholarship fund to offer camp for free or reduced rates and open up the possibility of our camps to everyone in CU. You can always donate using our "Donate" buttons on this site and help get your neighbors' kids to camp!

  3. Play for All Ages: This is an exciting interest I keep hearing from people. Stay tuned-- big plans here!

  4. Better connection with Public Schools: Do you have an "in"? We're pushing!

  5. More Playworkers! We're growing, growing, growing and want to have the best people on our team and give them ample time to learn, train and practice playwork.

  6. Junior Playworkers! This week I'll be releasing some information on our new Junior Playworker program for ages ~11-14. They can join us during summer camp and learn, help out and grow but also have ample opportunity to play! The best of both worlds for this in-between age group!

  7. More High School Employees: Last year we had 4 amazing high school kids join us for 6 weeks in the summer through Youth Employment Services and the experience was great. We're looking forward to having more join us and looping them into more programs too.

  8. Community Pop- Ups: We have several booked already for new types of venues. Where should we pop up next? Does your business want to sponsor a pop up?

  9. Private Pop- Ups: Want to hire KOOP to host a neighborhood party? Need an engaging, unique offering for kids? KOOP may be available! We're selective with these private events, but always willing to have a conversation!

  10. Trailer sponsors: We bought a trailer last year, but it's still pretty boring looking. We'll be opening up sponsorship soon to get it looking good to inspire great play :)

  11. Grants: KOOP is a 501c3 and will depend on grants to help us grow and offer more programs. If you'd like to help us find/write grants, we'd love to have your help!

  12. Professional Development: In the theme of adult play, we're excited to start offering some professional development packages to adults and workplaces-- stay tuned!

  13. Sustained growth + Volunteerism- This year I want to keep growing, but only as much as is sustainable and that means inviting more people to join our volunteer team!

  14. Continued Education: We won't host a national conference again this year, but we will continue to offer exciting workshops and talks for those who have/work with children.

  15. Regional Reach: KOOP aims to be a regional hub for this type of work with children and is ready to keep branching out in 2019.

  16. More UIUC Partnerships: We have such a jewel in CU with UIUC and I want to get KOOP better situated for research, partnerships and more!

  17. Neighborhood Play Days: Work has already begun helping to draw an easy pathway for neighborhoods to close down their streets and use them for play! Stay tuned!

  18. Huge Play Festival: This is still taking shape, but we want to inspire kids, adults and families to play and show them how that might happen by offering a huge festival!

  19. Neighborhood Play Pods: Pop- Ups are amazing and fun but can only have so much impact due to their "here then gone" nature. We want to activate public spaces for play in new ways and a more continued presence in specific neighborhoods where play offerings are scarce. Fingers crossed that 2019 is the year for this!

If you're not following daily play stories on Instagram-- you should be! @KOOP_CU!

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