May 22 2023

The Playful Learning Journey: How Funders Can Embrace Playful Learning

Grantmakers for Education


May 22, 3:00 pm ET


This webinar will dive into the Playful Learning Landscapes City Network and the lessons learned for funders. Playful learning seeks to enrich social and learning experiences for children and families outside the classroom by creating fun, interactive community spaces where families naturally spend time together. Several cities provide rich examples of how to support and promote playful learning. We’ll hear from the funders and fellows who have supported these projects about what they learned; answer your questions during the webinar Q&A; share what’s next on our EdFunders Playful Learning Journey; and provide resources and ideas for where funders can go from here.

About the Playful Learning Journey

Join Grantmakers for Education, William Penn Foundation, The Grable Foundation and the Brookings Institution on a journey to learn about playful learning: the science, the outcomes, and the promise it holds for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Playful learning seeks to augment the education that takes place in schools by transforming everyday places such as bus stops, supermarkets, and parks into fun and interactive learning opportunities for children and families. We’ll explore examples of successful community collaborations and dive into the role funders can play in advancing this unique approach to making out-of-school learning relevant, engaging and accessible for our youngest learners and their caregivers.

On this journey, we’ll offer two webinars (The What and Why of Playful Learning on April 25, and How Funders Can Embrace Playful Learning on May 22), as well as other learning opportunities, including engagement at the EdFunders annual conference. More details to come.

While others are welcome to attend, this event is intended for Grantmakers for Education members and their partner organizations.

There is no cost to attend this Grantmakers for Education program. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

About the Speakers

Gregg Behr

Gregg Behr
Executive Director
The Grable Foundation

Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation, is a father and children’s advocate whose work is inspired by the legacy of his hero, Fred Rogers. For more than a decade, he has helped to lead Remake Learning—a network of educators, scientists, artists, and makers he founded in 2007—to international renown. Formed in Rogers’ real-life neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Remake Learning has turned heads everywhere from Forbes to the World Economic Forum for its efforts to ignite children’s curiosity, encourage creativity, and foster justice and belonging in schools, libraries, museums, and more.

Amanda Charles

Amanda Charles
Interim Program Officer; Senior Program Associate
William Penn Foundation

Amanda is a program associate in Great Learning, with a grantmaking portfolio focused on building literacy rich environments for our youngest learners – opportunities for children to build literacy skills outside of schools and early childhood education centers. Previously, Amanda worked as a child care specialist with the Arlington County Government in Virginia, balancing caseload management of child care facilities while working collaboratively to improve program quality. Amanda holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in elementary and special education.

Jesús Oviedo
Manager of Playful Learning Landscapes
Metropolitan Family Services

Jesús Oviedo is the Manager of Playful Learning Landscapes for the Chicago area. He is an artist-educator and administrator who has worked in Early Childhood Education for over twenty years. Jesús is a published author and has contributed a chapter to Affirming the Rights of Emergent Bilingual and Multilingual Children and Families: Interweaving Research and Practice through the Reggio Emilia Approach, set to be released in July. He has also worked as an education consultant to many schools, programs and organizations across the U.S.

Bryan Stokes

Bryan Stokes
Director, Education Portfolio
Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Bryan Stokes, Education Portfolio Director at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, brings a wealth of knowledge from 15 years in the early childhood field, most recently serving as the Chief of Early Childhood Education at Chicago Public Schools.

Bryan began his career as a classroom teacher at the Carole Robertson Center before spending six years leading early childhood and youth development programs at Gads Hill Center, which serves more than 4,500 children on Chicago’s Southwest Side. His range of professional experience in the early childhood sector includes managing implementation of the state’s Preschool Development Grant in the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and serving as Vice President of Early Learning at Illinois Action for Children.

Jennifer Vey

Jennifer Vey
Senior Fellow, Brookings Metro
Director, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking
Brookings Institution

Jennifer S. Vey is a senior fellow with Brookings Metro and the director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking. Vey’s work primarily focuses on how place-based policies and practices can generate widespread economic, social, and environmental benefits. She is the author or co-author of dozens of Brookings publications examining the changing place needs of people and businesses; the implications of these shifts on how we live and work; and how transformative placemaking investments can support the development of more vibrant, connected, and inclusive communities. She also co-edited Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Older Industrial Areas (2008) and Hyper-local: Place Governance in a Fragmented World (2022). Prior to joining Brookings in 2001, Vey was a community planning and development specialist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She earned a Master of Planning degree from the University of Virginia and holds a B.A. in Geography from Bucknell University. She lives with her family in Baltimore.


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