Glazer Children's Museum Website Home

Let’s Talk Play Symposium

On August 24, 2021, the Glazer Children’s Museum hosted the first annual Let’s Talk Play symposium, a virtual educational event for caregivers, educators, and the whole community. 2021’s topic was Healing & Resiliency For Families. We invite you to enjoy our replay of the full event that deep dives into how play can help children and families heal during this turbulent time, and includes a live Fireside Chat discussion full of insights, tips and tricks, viewer questions, and comments, and so much more.


In response to community needs and GCM’s becoming a trusted place that provides respite to children and families during the pandemic. Glazer Children’s Museum has the potential to create a virtual educational symposium to provide social-emotional, mental, and behavioral health expert guidance to caregivers, teachers, early childhood educators, and the community at large. Our goal is to provide information and resources around family wellness, resiliency practice, and coping through these stressful times.


The Glazer Children’s Museum is proud to host the second annual Let’s Talk Play symposium, an educational breakfast on Playful Brain Building for caregivers, business leaders, educators, and the whole community. We invite you to join us in a conversation on how play impacts early childhood brain development on Tuesday, August 23, from 7-9am. Tickets will be $50 each.

Stay tuned for Playful Brain Building’s speakers…

In the meantime, catch up on our first annual Let’s Talk Play symposium on Healing & Resiliency for Families by watching the full replay above and brushing up on the experts who spoke in 2021 below.

Dr. Danielle Sutton

Dr. Sutton is a licensed psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst, providing clinical services to individuals with autism and related disabilities for over 25 years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at San Diego, her master’s in social work from the University of California at Berkeley, and her doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Sutton helped develop and direct internationally recognized autism clinics at the University of Miami and the University of South Florida, as well as oversee a team of 100+ clinicians throughout the U.S. and abroad during her time as the Executive Clinical Director of a behavior therapy company. Play is central to healthy brain development. Dr. Sutton will explain the link between imaginative play and cognitive, social, and language skills. She will also provide strategies for promoting quality pretend play experiences in a climate of fun.


Ashli Givens & Maggie Willman

Ashli Givens and Maggie Willman are Playworkers and co-founders of the non-profit organization, Rooted in Play. At Rooted in Play, Ashli and Maggie develop programming that provides space, time, and place for children to engage in self-directed play. Ashli holds a Master of Science degree in Communications Disorders and spent two decades working with children to resolve their communication difficulties. Her experience as a homeschooling mother to three children fostered a passionate belief in the role that autonomy, community, and creativity play in a child’s learning. Along with co-founding Rooted in Play, Maggie is a Director of Operations at Sunshine Health and a family photographer. She is passionate about providing opportunities for children to be supported in self-directed play. Exploring new places, adventuring in nature, and encouraging risks are some of her favorite ways to live out the values of Rooted in Play with her three children.


Mr. Chazz Lewis

Mr. Chazz Lewis, “Mr. Chazz”, is an Educational Specialist who “teaches teachers to teach” in a chain of child development centers. His mission in life is to enjoy the process of becoming the best version of himself and help others do the same. Mr. Chazz has trained thousands of teachers in person and virtually, works closely with 8 schools and thousands of children, and is in the process of writing a book. You can find Mr. Chazz sharing content via TikTok, Instagram, Patreon, and his podcast, Mr. Chazz’s Leadership, Parenting and Teaching Podcast. He earned his Master’s in Executive Leadership at American University.


Jennifer Phelps • Moderator

Jennifer Phelps has a lifelong passion for helping children and families learn and play together. She found her passion for helping children at the age of 12 and as a teenager, a family member, and reading Catherine Maurice’s Let Me Hear Your Voice motivated her to dedicate herself to helping those with developmental disabilities.

Jennifer obtained her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida State University. She founded Engage Behavioral Health in 2008, Learning for Life Academy in 2021, and is the co-founder and CEO of Nest Life, a family-focused behavioral health company. She specializes in working with children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities. Over the last decade, Jennifer has turned her passion for helping children and families into a growing company that has helped thousands of children.

She is a board member of the Glazer Children’s Museum and Shorecrest Prepatory School. Jennifer was named Tampa Bay Business Journal Businesswoman of the Year in 2017, is a founding member of St. Petersburg KNOW Tribe, and has spoken about her journey at FSU, USF, SharpHeels, and TBBJ Elite Young Professionals.


Sarah Cole • Moderator

Sarah Cole serves as the president and CEO of Glazer Children’s Museum, leading a remarkable team dedicated to providing purposeful, play-based learning to children ages 0-10 and their caregivers. She was part of the team that opened GCM in its current downtown location in 2010 when she was the Director of Education. Sarah has 20+ years of experience in the museum industry, with experience at all levels of leadership in a variety of museums, from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She holds degrees in biology from Butler University and in museum studies from Indiana University. Sarah is a member of Leadership Tampa Bay’s class of 2020, an active participant in the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the Association of Children’s Museums, and Harriet B’s Daughters – a professional network focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, access, and social justice in themed entertainment, serving those who are traditionally underrepresented in the industry.


The topic of Healing and Resiliency through Play is crucial as we all navigate new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you or a loved one needs additional support, here are some resources that can help.

CARD at the University of South Florida ● Children’s Board of Hillsborough County ● Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (Call 211) 
Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County ● Frameworks ● GracepointNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Call 800-273-8255)

Healing & Resiliency for Families’ Sponsors in 2021







Were you inspired by Let’s Talk Play and want to become a sponsor for a future GCM event?
Please contact with the subject line Inspired by Let’s Talk Play