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The Latest at Lawson

Lawson Foundation announces new funding for for diabetes prevention, treatment and management focused on children and youthLearn more here.

Lawson Foundation’s 5G Fund: Accelerate supports 14 projects for youth mental health with micro-grants

The Lawson Foundation is pleased to announce 14 micro-grants for a total of $38,800 in support for youth mental health projects across Canada. Learn more here.

Lawson Foundation launches Outdoor Play Strategy and announces $2.7 million in project funding
Today marks an exciting day as we launch our Outdoor Play Strategy and announces 14 newly funded outdoor play projects and an evaluation to capture the learning. Learn more here.

Foundations Taking a Bold Leadership Role on the Public Policy Front
"Foundations in Canada have an important contribution to bring given the many crucial public policy issues facing Canada. The time has come for us to be much more visible and active on this front. If we are truly going to change things, we can’t avoid engaging meaningfully in the world of public policy." Read the entire Blog Post here.

The next generation of philanthropists: Foundations find value in youth engagement
Youth engagement has been a priority of the Toronto-based family foundation — with a focus on the wellbeing of children and youth — since its inception. But, gearing up to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2016, the foundation took an additional step to connect with this specific demographic by introducing a fund managed by the fifth generation for the fifth generation. Read the full article here.

2015 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
ParticipACTION launched the 2015 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth featuring a Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play. The Lawson Foundation has supported this work over the last 2 years. One of the key messages coming out of these pieces is that the biggest risk is keeping your kids indoors. Please take the time to read up on the power of active outdoor play! 


A Renewed Strategic Direction for the Foundation
The Lawson Foundation has released its new strategic direction, outlining the Foundation’s course of action for the coming years. An emphasis on children and youth from a human development perspective will be at the center of three key areas of focus: Early Childhood Development, Healthy Active Living, and Children and the Environment. If we have peaked your interest, feel free to download the Strategic Direction for further details.

Outdoor Play

                                                                          [version française de l'annonce]

Lawson Foundation launches Outdoor Play Strategy and announces $2.7 million in project funding

Today marks an exciting day as the Lawson Foundation launches our Outdoor Play Strategy and announces 14 newly funded outdoor play projects and an evaluation to capture the learning.

The Outdoor Play Strategy aims to increase children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings - at home, in school, in child care, the community and nature. The $2.7 million dollar funding Strategy seeks to help us better understand how to support Canadian communities to foster outdoor play.

"Children's play is in decline,” says Lawson Foundation President & CEO Marcel Lauzière. “Kids actually need unstructured outdoor play – play that includes taking risks – because we know that this is important for their healthy development."

As this Strategy marks a new area of focus for the Foundation, the open funding call provided us with an opportunity to connect with unusual actors and got us thinking outside the box. The process has resulted in a diverse but complementary group of organizations and projects that we will convene periodically in a cohort approach to support one other.

You may be surprised to find among those in the cohort: an injury prevention project advocating for risky play, environmental education organizations that are shifting from traditional literacy projects to play in nature and the outdoors, and a community recreation organization that is shifting paradigms of adult-directed organized sport to include unstructured play for kids. You may also notice that the play-based and inquiry focus of early childhood education is pushing its way up and out across different professions that engage with children and youth. The commonality is unstructured outdoor play as the project focus and the growing understanding across sectors that play is a central mechanism for healthy child development.

“It’s exciting to see that while many of the organizations in the cohort are working within the traditional parameters of their expertise, other are working on the edges of practice in their sector and exploring new avenues to carry out their mission and expand children’s opportunities for outdoor play,”  says Lauzière.  

We look forward to supporting this cohort of projects, learning from this process and collectively making a difference when it comes to getting kids outside and enjoying unstructured, risky play. 

For Media enquiries or to arrange an interview:
Amanda Mayer, Communications Manager
613.292.0569 | amayer@lawson.ca

Resources related to the Outdoor Play Strategy
Outdoor Play Strategy and Funding Announcement | version française [January 7, 2016]
Outdoor Play Strategy Infographic [introduction, overview and individual project profiles]

An Outdoor Play Strategy Emerges | version française [Blog Post, January 7, 2016]
The Tally is in…263 Letter of Intent for Active Outdoor Play! [Blog Post, July 22, 2015]
Let Kids Decide How Muddy! [Blog Post, July 11, 2015]

Stay Connected!
Interested in staying connected to our work and updates on our Outdoor Play Strategy? 
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