Play Day initiative wins awards

The University of Lethbridge's Play Day initiative recently received a silver award from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) - a national organization that acknowledges excellence in alumni relations, communications, community outreach and development programming at universities and colleges across Canada.

The event also won a bronze award in a similar category from the international Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VIII, which is made up of post-secondary educational institutions from western Canada and the northwestern United States.

Play Day is designed to promote opportunities for play for southern Alberta children and families.

The free event, sponsored by 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union, drew nearly 5,000 people to campus on Family Day, which took place February 18, 2013.

"Play Day is a tremendous example of the importance the University of Lethbridge places on community engagement," says U of L President Dr. Mike Mahon. "Encouraging our children to play is important from a developmental point of view and events like this are important from a community point of view."

The event was successful due to the help of more than 100 volunteers from on campus and the broader community. The event brought together representatives from areas all over campus including the Art Gallery, Sport and Recreation Services and science outreach programs.

A variety of activities in the 1st Choice Savings Centre and at the Max Bell Aquatic Centre were all designed to encourage free play and exploration. Photos are attached.

"It didn't matter if you attended as a guest or volunteered, you had a lot of fun," says Mahon of the circus-themed event. "We were very pleased with our first Play Day in 2012. Its overwhelming success led to the 2013 activity and the decision to make it an annual event. We look forward to having the community join us next year."

The next Play Day will take place on February 17, 2014.

Please visit the CCAE website to view the complete list of winners and their entries.

Please visit the CASE VIII website to view the complete list of winners and their entries.