Global Playground Inspires Active Citizens

Thursday, March 08, 2012 | posted by Unknown |
Global Playground Chairman Doug Bunch and U.S. Teaching Fellow Ryan Drysdale represented Global Playground at the William & Mary Active Citizens Conference on February 18.

The conference, hosted by the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, brought leaders in social entrepreneurship together for one weekend to collaborate and share ideas. Fifteen nonprofits were represented.

“The purpose was to create a state-wide conference for students to gather to discuss issues of shared interest and shared best practices and models in community engagement and to have William & Mary alumni and experts in the field provide mentorship and expertise,” Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship Drew Stelljes said.

Bunch and Drysdale hosted a session focusing on Global Playground’s virtual playground and the cross-cultural basis of the nonprofit organization. Drysdale had the students perform an activity to better understand differences that exist between cultures and how those play out when different cultures interact.

“The main focus was first just giving background of what Global Playground is all about and then from there focusing on cross-cultural learning,” Drysdale said.

This session was modeled after the presentations that Drysdale has been giving at a number of different elementary, middle, and high schools on the East Coast as a part of his domestic tour.

“Typically when I speak to a school I have between 20 to 40 minutes and for that I just stick to a general presentation with questions and videos and photos,” Drysdale said. “For the longer ones I add activities.”

Bunch presented to students with Cosmo Fujiyama, co-founder of Students Helping Honduras. Bunch and Fujiyama explained the details of how to start a nonprofit, including which tax forms to fill out and how to get it registered with the government.

“It’s a privilege to be able to use Global Playground as a model of how to start a nonprofit.  The secret is passion, drive, and determination.  If you have that, everything else falls into place,” Bunch said.

Global Playground and William & Mary have a partnership to hire a William & Mary Teaching Fellow for 2012-2013.

“It was my third time coming down to talk about Global Playground. It is always good to go down there because Global Playground seems very well received,” Drysdale said. “There is just a good vibe on campus. There are a lot of people involved, a lot of active people.”

While Bunch and Drysdale stopped in at William & Mary for the conference, Drysdale’s domestic tour continues.

“I travel around to schools ranging from kindergarten to college to talk about Global Playground and what we do. I have been telling them about cross-cultural learning,” Drysdale said.