About Us

THE TEAM


JON RACEK

My role at Play360: Founder; Head Designer; Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2008
When I’m not involved with Play360, I am a faculty member at the School of Art, Architecture, and Design where I head the Comprehensive Design Area.

Jon Racek is a multidisciplinary designer whose scope of expertise spans architectural, landscape and industrial design. He is a Senior Lecturer at Indiana University and his research is concerned with the design and creation of systems of production where the design/products/architecture emerge from the system, including participatory design in a developing world context.

As the founder and creative director for Play360, Jon has led design, construction, and community capacity training since 2003, working in 12 countries on three continents. Adapting each project and set of designs to the local resources and conditions, Jon has created customized playgrounds and educational curriculum for more than 25 unique projects.

Prior to establishing Play360, Mr. Racek was founder of STEW, a furniture/architectural firm, for over nine years. Their work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Melbourne, Beijing and Dubai and has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and over 30 other domestic and international magazines. In 2001, he received a design award from the American Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles Chapter. He received his LEED AP certification in 2009. In 2012, he was named one of “40 Under 40” in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Industry, as determined by Building Design and Construction Magazine.


GENEVIEVE PRITCHARD

My role at Play360: Executive Director; Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2014
When I'm not involved with Play360, I am exploring new places or consulting on international development projects

Genevieve Pritchard specializes in development of leadership and civic engagement capacity, holding an MBA with focus on strategy consulting. She joined Play360 in 2017 as Executive Director, leading administrative and development activities as well as coordinating trips and training projects.

Genevieve began collaborating with Play360 from her role as the Associate Director for the Office of International Development at Indiana University (www.oid.iu.edu) where she worked on the development and implementation of government sponsored international programs. She managed a multi-project portfolio that allowed her to work with, and provide training for, groups focused on leadership, education, community development and civic engagement from Myanmar, Indonesia, Italy, Mongolia, China, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and more than 20 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Prior to her work with the university, Genevieve spent 15 years as a social entrepreneur in Mexico where she started, acquired, maintained, and/or sold multiple businesses. She was also a member of the United States Peace Corps in Honduras where she collaborated extensively with local government, NGOs, and community stakeholders on design and implementation of water and sanitation systems. Her grassroots work with local villages included community organization, volunteer engagement, project management, and technical workshops.


Michael

MICHAEL WATERFORD

My Role at Play 360: Director of International Planning; Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2019
When I'm not involved with Play360,
 I work in Higher Education, ride motorcycles, drink wine, and plan the next adventure. Preferably in that order.


JOHN SOOTS

My Role at Play360: Web Development and Digital Strategy Director 
Collaborator Since 2019
When I'm not involved with Play360, I am the Administrative Director of a small independent school. I enjoy playing guitar, cycling, hiking, building and restoring things


Natalie

NATALIE CORRIGAN

My Role at Play360: Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2009.
When I'm not involved with Play360, I teach Design & Technology in a British International school in Lima, Peru. I am also a recently qualified Hatha Vinyasa Yoga Teacher.


Monique

MONIQUE PHILPOT

My Role at Play360: Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2017
When I'm not involved with Play360, I might be adventuring in the forest with adults and children at Wild Nature Project or practicing administrative magic at Woman Within, or at home with my partner tending the garden, bees –generally building and living my dreams!


Ryan

RYAN THRUSSELL

My Role at Play360: Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2017 
When I'm not involved with Play360, I still build playgrounds, but in the UK!


Lana

LANA CRUCE

My Role at Play360: Curriculum Developer
Collaborator Since 2018
When I'm not involved with Play360, I am an elementary teacher at a small independent school.


Jenny

JENNY NUTTALL

My Role at Play360: Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2009
When I'm not involved with Play360, I design playgrounds and teach yoga in the UK.


Ansley

ANSLEY FENDER

My Role at Play360: Bookkeeper 
Collaborator Since 2018
When I'm not involved with Play360, I am a bookkeeper for other nonprofit organizations and small businesses, the owner/operator of a cleaning business, and a freelance personal finance writer.


Jeff

JEFF MUSSELMAN

My Role at Play360: Project Manager
Collaborator Since 2019
When I'm not involved with Play360, I spend as much time as I can with friends and family enjoying life.



OUR MISSION

Play 360 believes that all children deserve a stimulating education. We strengthen childhood education in low-resource communities through empowering them to build low-cost playgrounds as an extension on the classroom. This fosters collaboration, cooperation, creativity, and innovation among children.


Why Play Matters

The importance of play is often overlooked. It’s often difficult for people to schedule a time, for either themselves or their children, to simply sit comfortably in playtime. And while play is associated with childhood, it’s a healthy practice for all ages and entire communities. 

Play Matters

Play360 staff and volunteers are the educators and builders that facilitate and maximize children’s development and learning through play. We believe it should not be a luxury, but is essential to enhance the lives of children everywhere. Play allows us to develop relationships, create strong connections between each other, and work better as a team member. It gives us an insight to our perceptions of each other and the world around us while teaching us to resolve problems and control our emotions. 

The evidence is clear and research has proven that play is essential to develop a physically healthy child with cognitive, social, emotional skills that prepare them for success in school and life. And we believe, no matter their circumstances, that every child deserves their best chance for success. 

To learn more about the benefits of play check out links listed below:

Stuart Brown: Play is More Than Fun

UNICEF: How Important is Play?

Rethinking Childhood

Association of Children's Museums

Children and Nature Network

Nature Explore

Natural Learning Foundation

Voice of Play

The Strong

Childhood Education International™