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The Genius of Play and The National Afterschool Association Partner to Launch the Play Ambassadors Program

Monday, 10 September 2018 16:40

Ambassadors to Advocate the Importance of Play for Children

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2018 -- The Genius of Play™, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to promoting the importance of play in children's learning and development, today announced its partnership with The National Afterschool Association (NAA) to unveil the Play Ambassadors Program. This unique leadership opportunity is designed for select NAA members to share the message about the value of play with other afterschool professionals, families, and communities.

"We are extremely excited to partner with NAA on this initiative as both organizations have children's healthy development at its core," said Anna Yudina, director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, the group that spearheads The Genius of Play. "We hope that the Play Ambassadors will serve as catalysts of the growing play movement by helping to educate parents and caregivers on the many benefits of play to child development and bringing more play to afterschool programs, communities, and kids' lives."

Together, The Genius of Play and NAA selected the inaugural cohort of 20 Play Ambassadors to serve through the 2018/2019 school year. Play Ambassadors will receive exclusive access to the latest research, expert tips, and more, including hundreds of play ideas and other resources available at They will be putting this information and tools in action by holding several events, including a workshop for afterschool colleagues and teachers, a community play day, and a seminar for parents and caregivers. Additionally, Play Ambassadors will have the opportunity to create trainings and workshops using the research and to spread the word about the importance of play on social media.

"The opportunity to enjoy and experience play is foundational to a high-quality afterschool learning experience," said Gina Warner, president and CEO of the National Afterschool Association. "We welcome this partnership to help the afterschool professionals in our field build their skills and knowledge base in this area, while also expanding the message of the value and importance of play for all children."

For additional information about The Genius of Play and healthy play habits for kids, visit

About The Genius of Play

The Genius of Play is a national movement to raise awareness of play's vital role in child development, spearheaded by The Toy Association. Deeply rooted in research and facts, The Genius of Play is a leading resource on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of play that serve children throughout their lives. The Genius of Play enables today's busy parents and caretakers to use the power of play to help raise a happier, healthier, and more productive next generation. Visit for easily accessible play ideas and tips, expert advice, and other play resources. It's More Than Play!

About The National Afterschool Association

An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year and the industry employs an estimated 850,000. The National Afterschool Association is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours.

SOURCE The Genius of Play