The Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health Seminar Series
Presents: Dr. Cassie Landers
Discussing: Imagination Playground: An innovative approach to enhancing children's development
Research has shown that "play" is fundamental to a child's overall development. Play has a critical role in supporting children's social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. In an increasingly complex global world, there is a growing need for creativity, innovation and collaboration - all skills cultivated through play. For children affected by trauma, violence and deprivation, play has the power to rebuild communities and support feelings of confidence, safety and self-esteem.
In early 2012, UNICEF's Bangladesh and Haiti Country Offices began to explore the feasibility of an innovative play and recreation concept that brings portable play to extremely vulnerable children. Mobile playground units consisting of giant foam blocks, empower children between 3-12 years to influence the space around them and design their own course of play, and encourage them to dream and create through dramatic, constructive, and gross motor play. The project is currently being evaluated to determine the suitability and potential of the mobile playgrounds to support UNICEF's standard response for children living in communities recovering from crises and to demonstrate how playground materials contribute to improve children's learning, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Cassie Landers holds a Doctorate in Education, as well as a Master's in Public Health, both from Harvard University. Since 1985, Dr. Landers has worked with UNICEF and other international agencies to promote policies and programs in support of young children and their families. Over the past 20 years, she has provided technical assistance and support to child development programs in over 60 countries throughout Southern Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. She has extensive experience in the design, implementation, and training of practitioners at all levels, developing global interventions ranging from parenting education to developmental pediatrics.
Lunch will be served.
clh2155 [at] columbia [dot] edu