Healthi Kids, in collaboration with the Strong National Museum of Play, will present the Healthi Kids Playful Learning Summit, scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, August 21, 2023, at the museum. This unique, day-long conference will delve into the immense potential of playful learning as a catalyst for physical activity, social-emotional growth, mental wellness, academic achievement, and more.

The Healthi Kids Playful Learning Summit brings together educators, parents, community partners, and individuals passionate about the future of education to explore innovative approaches to fostering a joyful learning environment. This event will serve as a platform to learn about the many benefits of playful learning, with a special focus on how it positively impacts the holistic development of Black and Latino children, as well as students with disabilities.

“Play has the incredible power to reshape how we approach education," says Jenn Beideman, director of whole child health Advocacy for Healthi Kids. “Our data is clear: Parents and students want to see more playful learning happening in their schools.”

The summit’s target audience includes the Rochester City School District, Greece Central School District, and the charter schools within the city of Rochester. Beatriz LeBron, vice president of the Rochester Board of Education, will be on hand to offer opening remarks at the event.

“We are thrilled to partner with Healthi Kids and the Strong Museum of Play on this day of learning,” says LeBron, “All children should have access to the joy of play in their school environment.”

The summit will feature a range of enlightening and interactive sessions led by esteemed thought leaders in the field of playful learning. The keynote will be presented by community-based education experts Dr. Ariana Brazier and Julia Brazier (ATL Parent Like a Boss) on “Black child play as response and protest.” Sessions on trauma-informed care and play, as well as a guided tour of the museum’s key exhibits, will be presented by Dr. Tyana Velazquez-Smith, assistant vice president for education at The Strong Museum.

“Play is a human right, as essential as our basic needs for food, clean water, and shelter,” Velazquez-Smith says, “However studies show that Black and Brown children are presented with systemic inequalities that impact their access to this right. With this summit, The Strong National Museum of Play and Healthi Kids are offering a high-quality and accessible day of learning dedicated to supporting and empowering educators, community members, and stakeholders to embrace a pedagogy of play for every child.” 

Other sessions will feature Dr. Suzannah Iadarola of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities; Anita O’Brien of Rochester Accessible Adventures; Healthi Kids Coalition members Toyin Anderson, Lydia Rivera, Jackie Graham, and Dr. Sharon Peck; and Healthi Kids’ own Stephanie David and Erick Stephens.

Tickets for this free event are completely sold out. For more information about the Healthi Kids Playful Learning Summit, please visit


About Healthi Kids 

The Healthi Kids Coalition, an initiative of Common Ground Health, advocates for the creation of policies, systems, environments, and resources that advance the health and well-being of all children birth to age 8 in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region. We advance policies to ensure all kids have the supports they need for the healthiest start in life. Learn more at


About The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families with highly interactive exhibits and programs. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. The Strong explores play in order to encourage learning, creativity, and discovery and to illuminate the American experience in particular and human experience in general. Learn more at