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About the Coalition

Playworks Michigan, a nonprofit affiliate working to keep kids active and healthy through play and recess, announced in March 2021 the convening of a new coalition to raise awareness about recess in schools and support statewide advocacy for increased access to recess and opportunities for play in Michigan schools. The Coalition for Michigan Schoolchildren’s Right to Play will support access to safe and healthy play every day at school to positively impact children’s physical, social, and emotional development.  


“Following the recent online and in-person learning changes throughout the pandemic, curriculum is being reshaped for the fall,” said Paul Liabenow, Executive Director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association. “As these conversations are happening, we want educators and parents to be aware of the benefits of recess especially after a year of online learning and limited interaction.”

The mission of the Coalition for Michigan Schoolchildren’s Right to Play is to ensure that every elementary student in the State of Michigan has increased access to play and recess as a part of their school day.


Dennis Archer Jr.

Peri Stone-Palmquist

Vinnie Johnson

Carlynn Nichols

Jalen Rose

Dr. Rebecca Hasson

Brett Smith

Matt Simoncini

Anthony Wickersham

Sheila Ford Hamp

David Egner

Michael Domagalski

Misha Stallworth

Dr. Herbert Smitherman

Paul Liabenow

Punita Thurman

Dr. Steve Matthews

Jason Smith

Mike VanGessel

Donna Jackson

Don Wortuba

Jenell Mansfield

CEO, Ignition Media Group

Executive Director, Student Advocacy Center of Michigan

Chairman & CEO, Piston Group LLC

Chief Clinical Officer, Children's Center of Wayne County

Founder, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Director of Childhood Disparities Research Lab, University of Michigan

Secretary Treasurer, Michigan Education Association

CEO (retired), Lear Corporation

Macomb County Sheriff, Macomb County Sheriff Department

Principal Owner, Detroit Lions

President & CEO, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation

Principal, East China School District

Detroit Board of Education, DPSCD

CEO & President, Health Centers Detroit Foundation

Executive Director, MEMSPA

VP of Program and Strategy, The Skillman Foundation

Superintendent, Novi Community Schools

Executive Director, Michigan Center for Youth Justice

CEO, Rockford Construction

President, Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals

Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Boards

Political/Legislative Coordinator, AFT Michigan

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