Illinois Statewide Education and Funding Initiative

IPRA/IPRF Promotes Play and Recreation

IPRA/IPRF's Commitment to Healthy Communities

Parks are essential to creating healthier, happier societies across generations! Be inspired by the leadership case examples created through the IPRA/IPRF Healthy Play & Recreation Statewide Initiative which has deployed 50+ high-quality outdoor destinations across the state of Illinois. Evidence-based design best practices for promoting physical activity across generations, addressing physical and social inclusion, and integrating nature into the everyday spaces of childhood, and initial research findings from the statewide initiative will help build a strong case for the positive impact parks have on community health and wellness. Interactive and hands-on learning experiences will inspire and equip learners with knowledge and valuable resources to passionately advocate for outdoor play and recreation. Join us to learn more about this unique initiative to turn research into practice and the opportunity to participate in meaningful data collection as a project of excellence exemplifying evidence-based best practices.

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Goals of the IPRA/IPRF Statewide Initiative

Provide Professional Development Events

Broaden the knowledge base across the state

Presented by PlayCore master trainers, these CEU workshops cover important topics such as designing inclusive play and recreation spaces, creating nature-infused and trail-based play environments, encouraging greater physical activity for children and promoting health and wellness for older teens and adults. 

Deploy Research and Outcomes Tracking

Set the standard and improve quality of life

By gaining a better understanding of how parks are used across the state of Illinois, IPRA/IPRF agencies can adjust programming and usage to better serve children and families and have a greater impact on quality of life.

Develop Shared-Use Ventures

Align parks, schools and health partners

Bringing together the right partners means sharing services and increasing social capital in the process. Working as a team, we can make Illinois a happier, healthier place to live, work and play!

Provide Matching Funds Assistance

Put research into action

GameTime is awarding matching funds to qualifying agencies who submit applications after attending a IPRA/IPRF statewide initiative event. Your application will include an essay that describes your community playground needs and desired outcomes. 

IPRA/IPRF Statewide Initiative Timeline
PlayCore Professional Development Symposiums Learn More

Master Trainer - Jennie Sumrell, M.Ed

Director of Education: Programs, Partnerships & Professional Development

Jennie has worked with children and families of all abilities for nearly ten years. Her formal training and experience in early childhood education, exceptional learning, special education, and assistive technology allow her to have a meaningful influence on program and product development. Jennie is responsible for programs and partnerships that help build communities through play and she leads PlayCore’s community outreach providing continuing education to professionals across the country.

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Lunch and Educational Resources Provided

Each educational event includes lunch and all educational materials covered in the session, including research and evidence-based guidebooks and curriculum from leading play researchers and universities.

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Accreditation and CEUs

Educational resources, continuing education certificates and lunch/refreshments will be provided at no cost. CEUs will be provided through PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research & Education. Learners receiving CEUs must meet the criteria for participation and achievement of learning objectives. Please see registration pages for complete agenda and specifics on CEUs, or contact

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Professional Development Learning Objectives
GameTime Funding Initiative Register for an Event

Up to 100% Matching Funds for Play Systems

Communities who are awarded funds as part of the IPRA/IPRF Statewide Initiative can apply their funding award toward the purchase of PowerScape, PrimeTime, Xscape and IONiX play systems.

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Additional Funds for Challenge Course Available

Create a multigenerational fitness destination in your parks with Challenge Course. IPRA/IPRF Statewide Initiative funds can be applied to the purchase of Challenge Course Pro Series.

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Up to $12,000 in Funds for Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Help adults in your community stay more active and achieve their health and wellness goals. IPRA/IPRF Statewide Initiative funds can be applied to these Outdoor Fitness Packages.

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