27 September 2007

No Child Left..... INSIDE! Article from Grist.org

No Child Left Inside
A chat about Congress' effort to restore environmental education funds

Retrieved from Grist.org on 26 Sep 2007

"Go outside and play!" It's a simple enough command, but as a nation of teeth-gnashing parents and teachers will tell you, not enough kids want to unplug or log off long enough to heed it. Enter Congress.

Amid growing evidence that learning about nature and actually experiencing it can help children become healthier, happier, more engaged citizens, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) introduced the No Child Left Inside Act in the Senate and House this summer. The goal of the legislation, treading the path forged by author Richard Louv and his acclaimed 2006 book Last Child in the Woods, is to restore environmental education in American classrooms. Such lessons, the evidence shows, can help boost grades across the board, while also preparing students for the myriad challenges ahead: accelerated climate change, pollution, depleted resources, and vanishing flora and fauna, to name a few.

Supporters of the legislation include more than 70 organizations, from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Sierra Club to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Education Association. Among the bill's driving forces is the North American Association for Environmental Education. Grist checked in with Brian Day, executive director of NAAEE, to find out what inspired the bill -- and why on earth it matters.

Might as well start off with the rude question: Why do teachers need Washington's help to get kids outside? Can't they just shoo them out for recess -- mission accomplished?

For the rest of the article, click here! Grist.org on 26 Sep 2007

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