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Red Wings' Learn, Play, Score Program Named Project Play Champion

The Aspen Institute recognizes 18 organizations taking actions to help children become physically active through sports

by @DetroitRedWings

Tuesday was a special day for the Detroit Red Wings as the organization's pioneering Learn, Play, Score program was named a Project Play Champion by The Aspen Institute.

The Aspen Institute's Project Play Champions program annually recognizes 18 local and national organizations who are taking new, meaningful and specific actions consistent with the Project Play framework, which includes eight promising strategies that stakeholders can use to help every child become physically active through sports.

Those strategies are: Ask Kids What They Want, Reintroduce Free Play, Encourage Sport Sampling, Revitalize In-Town Leagues, Think Small, Design For Development, Train All Coaches and Emphasize Prevention.

Other organizations named 2020 Project Play Champions include the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Women's Sports Foundation and American Youth Soccer Organization, among others.

This past February, the Red Wings launched the Learn, Play, Score program through an initial $1 million investment in partnership with the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund to grow and expand access to hockey across the city of Detroit.

Rooted in a commitment to building confidence and character, promoting positive values and imparting enduring life skills, thousands of youth across Detroit now have the unique opportunity to participate in the Learn, Play, Score program and gain access to hockey through avenues that weren't previously available.

Through community partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Parks & Recreation, Detroit Public Schools Community District, EverFi and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, more than 30,000 youth in the city of Detroit will experience the sport of hockey through a distinctive array of events and engagements over the next two years.

"Being named to the 2020 Project Play Champion cohort is truly an honor equally shared by the many colleagues and organizations that make Learn, Play, Score happen each day," said Kevin Brown, director of community relations & Detroit Red Wings Foundation. "Hockey is more than a game - it's a launchpad to so many positive attributes and experiences for youth. The Red Wings' Learn, Play, Score platform represents the future of our sport by unlocking potential across Detroit well beyond what is learned on the ice or in the street."

After the program's extremely successful launch in February, it has had to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic this summer.

Building upon "Street Hockey in the D" programming originally launched within Detroit Public Schools Community District K-8 physical education classes earlier this year, the Learn, Play, Score platform is offering unique online instructional content through "Street Hockey in the D at Home." This free, six-week virtual summer program for city of Detroit residents seeks to engage 1,000 children in partnership with Detroit Parks & Recreation from July 7 - August 13.

Through two engaging video modules each week, participants will learn the basics of street hockey from Learn, Play, Score ambassador and "Detroit Ice Dreams" founder Jason McCrimmon, Red Wings players and Red Wings TV's Carley Johnston, through a virtual classroom setting.

Each video will focus on street hockey skills and drills, physical activity and wellness and hockey's Declaration of Principles: courage, perseverance, acceptance, humility, respect, teamwork, integrity and passion. Registration is currently open for city of Detroit residents through July 10 by visiting

Other Learn, Play Score initiatives will be announced this fall, and the Red Wings will be formally recognized as a Project Play Champion during the 2020 Project Play Summit on October 14 in Washington D.C.

For more information on the Learn, Play, Score program, visit or email

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