Archive for January, 2013

Hong Kong – Playright Children’s Play Association and IPSI Collaboration Efforts

Friday, January 25th, 2013

20120928_Playright_Final06ABOUT PLAYRIGHT
Playright was established in Hong Kong in 1987 as a charity that seeks to enrich the life of every child through quality play. We make a difference in the lives of children by encouraging them to play. They further seek to demonstrate to parents, teachers, policy makers and the public at large that quality play is vital if the full range of the child’s developmental and other needs is to be successfully met.

Through action, research and publicly covering four strategically related areas – Advocacy, Play Resources, Play Outreach, and Play Environments – Playright is helping to unlock the full potential of children in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia.

ADVOCACY ¬– They raise public concern about play and heighten recognition or its special values.
PLAY RESOURCES – They provide the tools, training and ideas that can make play an integral part of life everywhere and at any time.
PLAY OUTREACH – They create play opportunities in many different settings, including schools, families, hospitals and communities.
PLAY ENVIRONMENTS – They create safe, innovative and inspiring play environments for all children.

Training Playworkers is an ongoing effort. They received private funding to provide Playworkers in various hospitals to provide fun activities for children. They host many large community “play days” and other special activities for families. Playright recently received a grant to promote and publish fun family play activities. Each of these published activities comes with a list of supplies the family would likely find around the home.
Playright’s answer to the following question, “Why children need to play?” Their response, “Play lets children explore the world around them, create their own fresh worlds, and respond flexibly to new demands and challenges. Play helps children learn and develop as individuals and as members of their community. Play is serious fun that demands sufficient time and space.”

One of Playright’s challenges is to increase the public’s awareness of who they are, what they do, and hopefully inspire the public to get involved with their programs and activities. At their annual gala fundraising event they presented a video highlighting their program and recognize their volunteer efforts to help expand and promote the value of play. I think their new video hits the mark. I urge you to click on the link and see for yourself what they are all about.

Our training schedule for this trip was full from 8 until 6 each night but there was always time at night to seek out new places, people, things, and of course food. The night skyline of Hong Kong is one of the world’s best. The views of Victoria Bay can be appreciated from many tall buildings, observation decks, and several forms of water transportation. Enjoy the photos above. We did!

IPSI completes 1st International Playground Maintenance Technician Course in Chai Wan Hong Kong China

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

34 enthusiastic Hong Kong course participants eager to learn

Class Photo of all 34 PMT Course Participants - Instructors - and Playright Staff holding up sign

The first playground maintenance technician training program was offered in Hong Kong January 7th and 8th. Playright Children’s Play Association hosted the first ever playground maintenance technician training half way around the world. The program, Maintaining Child’s Play, was developed by the Park District Risk management Agency of Illinois for its membership. Clemson University is offering this training program for training front line play area maintenance staff responsible for the day to day facility inspections, routine maintenance, minor repairs, and custodial related tasks.

Thirty-four (34) enthusiastic participants attended the two day course. They represented government agencies, not-for-profits, private property management firms’, clubhouse management firms, higher education institutions, and play equipment suppliers.

The participants learned about all the various common types of materials they would encounter within a public play environment. While some of the materials discussed may not be on every playground, these materials would be likely be encountered somewhere within the public common areas somewhere within their jurisdiction. Each participant received the course manuscript, Maintaining Child’s Play: A Comprehensive Guide for Maintaining Safe Playgrounds, a reference resource to help them react to situations they might encounter throughout the life of a public play environment. The Course Participant Guide. This book was authored by Monty Christiansen, Steve Plumb, and Steve Kleinman and published by the Park District Risk management Agency in 2010-2011. They also received a copy of Playground Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide for Maintaining Safe Playgrounds, Participant Guide, Clemson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. The two day training followed the various chapter of the manuscript highlighting various components of the manuscript through an interactive multi-media presentation. The hands on skills building exercises and virtual playground video segments were highly most important to all participants.

Playright staff received positive input from the participants throughout the training and told IPSI they were pleased with the outcome. Playright Executive Director, Kathy Wong, stated that it is at time difficult to know prior to any training whether the content and presentation will meet the needs of the local market. Organizing a training program half way around the world using emails as the only means of communication presents challenges but the long relationship between Playright and IPSI has provided a solid collaborative relationship for the exchange and delivery of the most current trends and issues effecting public play area management. The ultimate decision as to what information, guidelines or international standards should be followed will always be a local choice. IPSI’s mission is to provide current timely information from around the world that will enhance children’s play experience while minimizing known hazards within the play environment, and improve public access to all play environments. Our efforts continue to assist the play area industry better understand these issues and empower them to take a proactive approach to the management challenges all owners/operators will experience throughout the life of the play area to assure the safety of the user, function of both the play equipment and the impact attenuating surfacing, while addressing the attractiveness and cleanliness of the entire environment.

IPSI Executive Director, Ken Kutska, would like to thank Playright Executive Director, Kathy Wong and her entire staff. I would especially like to thank Chris Yuen, Ada Wong, and Aby Chau for all their hard work to make the course a success. Many organizations help to sponsor this course but Sabrina Lee, CEO and Francis Li, VP of Business Development of Park Supplies Company Limited provide the course instructors Ken Kutska and Tom Kalousek, with the most gracious Chinese Hospitality Hong Kong has to offer. Also a special thanks to Partick Lee, CT-Art Creation Pte. Ltd. of Singapore for personal guide service throughout our trip.