The Lawson Foundation’s Outdoor Play Strategy is an integral part of our overall strategic direction. It is driving our comprehensive approach to exploring how outdoor play supports the healthy development of children and youth in communities across Canada. 

Our initial investment of $2.7 million in 14 core projects grew to $4.5 million in related grants, creating a learning cohort, convening, and engaging in developmental evaluation to learn both from the projects and the overall approach.

Today we are pleased to share two summary reports of the third-party evaluation of the Strategy, as conducted by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), including valuable learnings and reflections to help direct the Foundation’s next steps.

  1. The philanthropic report (rapport philanthropique) contains the findings most relevant to the philanthropic sector including the value of funding multiple projects in various sectors and with diverse approaches, fostering a cohort approach and developing collaborative relationships.
  2. The outdoor play sector report (rapport secteur du jeu extérieur) contains the findings most relevant to the outdoor play sector including the importance of building capacity for adults to support outdoor play, learning from community implementation models, and informing or influencing policy.

We are sharing these reports as we are committed to transparency and sharing knowledge. While we know that the insights and lessons learned through this evaluation will be valuable to us and our community partners as we continue our work in the area of Outdoor Play, we also believe that they may be insightful for others who are funding, supporting or otherwise enabling important change work in communities. 

We will share more about the next phase of our Outdoor Play Strategy, focusing on building adult capacity in Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) in January 2021. 

We invite you to share either of these reports with those in your networks for whom the insights and reflections might be relevant. If you have any questions, comments or reflections to share, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Christine Alden

Christine Alden

Program Director at The Lawson Foundation
Christine has been with the Lawson Foundation as Program Director in the areas of Early Child Development and Outdoor Play since 2012. She received her PhD, which focused on outdoor pedagogy in Early Learning and Child Care, from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / University of Toronto in 2022.

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