All children and families in Franklin, Marion and Grundy counties are invited to a free, community-wide Plateau Play Day event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at South Cumberland State Park in Monteagle.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Project, a partnership between the University of the South’s Office of Civic Engagement and the South Cumberland Community Fund, are sponsoring the event to provide families an opportunity to engage in creative and spontaneous play with a variety of special activities and fun materials.

“Come tunnel through cardboard boxes, build forts, create sidewalk chalk masterpieces and slip n’ slide the day away,” said Eunice Muchemi, a summer associate with AmeriCorps.

Lunch and laughter will be provided.

“In a world facilitated by technology, play can easily become an afterthought,” Muchemi said. “Plateau Play Day serves as a reminder to pause and utilize other modes of creativity and healthy living. Children and adults alike will have a chance to connect and pass on wisdom through games and healthy forms of communication.”

Research shows that being active can counteract stress and engaging in free play can help children develop both physically and emotionally, with impacts ranging from stronger bones to heightened social skills.

Muchemi said, “Play isn’t simply fun and games, it’s one of the most positive and powerful tools for child development. When children are given the freedom to create such things as sand castles and forts or draw and paint or roam outside with limited adult supervision, they are on their way to good health.”

Volunteer assistance from parents and guardians is requested. Adults are invited to bring lawn chairs.

For questions, volunteer interest or to sign your child up, please email