JANUARY 19, 2018

Want to learn more about our Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) program for schools?

Enriched outdoor play improves opportunities for inclusion, physical activity, creativity and problem solving. The OPAL program works to promote the benefits of play in schools and engages the school community to enhance the time for students to direct their own play and learning.

  • Learn about OPAL best practices from abroad with Michael Follett, OPAL U.K. Founder
  • Discover how the OPAL program is developing and expanding in the GTA with Brenda Simon, Director of Play Programs at Earth Day Canada
  • Hear first-hand experiences from Toronto District School Board (TDSB) teachers and principals from OPAL schools in 2016/2017 pilot year

Event Schedule

8:15 AM – 9:00 AM


Coffee and Refreshments

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Deb Doncaster – President of Earth Day Canada
  • Jennifer Story – TDSB Trustee, Ward15
  • Dr. John Malloy – Director of Education, TDSB

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

OPAL Presentation

  • Brenda Simon – Director of Play Programs, Earth Day Canada

10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

OPAL Research Study

  • Raktim Mitra – Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

10:20 AM – 11:00 AM

OPAL U.K. Presentation

  • Michael Follett – Founding Drector of Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) UK

11:00 AM – 11:10 AM


11:10 AM – 12:00 PM

OPAL Pilot – Q & A Panel

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


Catered lunch available, provided by Earth Day Canada

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC)

Session discussing play in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Play Policy Workshop

Michael Follett leads discussion on how to create a play policy for schools ( *this is a closed session for OPAL Lead Team members )

If your school is interested in Earth Day Canada’s OPAL Program (TDSB), please sign up here.
We are working on an OPAL Training toolkit for schools Canada-wide, if you are interested please sign up here.