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Let’s Get Kids Outside! New Bill Introduced In Congress

Let’s Get Kids Outside! New Bill Introduced In Congress

On November 18, Congressman Ron Kind (D – Wisconsin) introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act (MONA) into the House of Representatives. The idea of the bill is to support federal, state, and local strategies that connect children with nature.

At a time when the average youngster, aged 8 – 18, is spending at least seven and a half hours indoors staring at her or his small screens, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this is desperately needed. Indeed, experts believe that our young people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors, and this has dire effects on their social, emotional, psychological and creative development.

With the notion that our children need real experience, not just virtual experience, this bill proposes to get American kids healthy and active by connecting children, youth and families with nature through natural play areas, outdoor recreation programs, public health initiatives, outdoor learning environments, service learning and other initiatives.

Of course, this bill would also address the growing problem of childhood obesity, at a time when one in three children is overweight or obese.

The move for this legislation comes on the heels of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, launched in June, 2010, an initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation by providing resources for families to get active in nature.

Meanwhile, the No Child Left Inside legislation has been on hold since April, 2009, when it was read twice and referred to the House Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

The movement to re-connect children with nature is growing rapidly, but having MONA pass would give it tremendous momentum.

Our future stewards of the planet need our help.

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99 comments

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5:33AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

I don't care for the political side of this article or discussion but kids really spend too much time indoors and at computers or other electronic devices and do not play outside as they (we) used to do. They move less too. And we all know that fresh air and physical activity are parts of staying healthier.

If that needs Government to tell parents or teachers about the obvious needs of kids maybe there is really something wrong?

2:42PM PST on Nov 26, 2010

I would really believe that our politicians have a lot more to worry about fixing than getting children outside. I agreed that children should play outside. Do we really need to make this a LAW? Just how much interference do we really want from our federal government? So far they have taken away some rights we do have, don't protect the rights we need, and interfere in our lives to such an extent as to pass a law that children need to spend time outside. Interesting how much they ignore the critical issues to micromanage our individual lives!

11:35AM PST on Nov 23, 2010

It is of vital importance than humanity reconnect to Nature, the true World Wide Web of Life.

Hope its not sponsored by McD's and Shrek!

10:50PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

When I was a child, we played outside unless the weather was inclement, we were doing homework or we were grounded. We watched 1 hour of tv an evening (if we were lucky); and, that was usually watched with our parents present. We got our hour of tv only AFTER we showed our parents our completed homework. We all came home for dinner and ate as a family.

We were all fit, healthy and happy. Go figure!

9:38PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

Children don't have time to play! They are overbooked and scheduled every hour of the day. Their every move is set up so they can compete with the Joneses. Tests will determine their future. Karate will teach them self defense. Dance will teach them poise and grace. When do we schedule in Time to be a Kid which will teach them to run, play and enjoy their youth.

6:08PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

I don't have children, but I can't imagine that the government would need to tell me how to raise them. Aren't there more important issues that need to be addressed? Such as how to keep the air and water clean for their future, and maybe fixing the economy so they have a job, or that their parents do?

4:17PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

"It is ESSENTIAL that children get daily (if possible) exercise in the open fresh air in order for their phsycial, mental, emotional and spiritual to fully develop, otherwise their growth gets stunted on a number of levels."

Does that mean that the Government should be their parents??

4:16PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

"As long as people show up and give away their power by voting in rigged elections, nothing will change."

But the Democrats have told us ad infinitum that there no such thing as vote fraud!!

4:00PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

"Pretty soon this behavior will mandated, along with increased taxes for all associated monies for building all these new non-existing public park areas; the monitors that ensure "your" children use it at least 3-4 times a week (unless you have proof they're in an outdoor program, disabled, or ill), maintain a healthy weight, and are required to list the foods they ate since the last time they visited these 'areas;' the medical and governmental bureaucracy at the fed, state and local levels needed to oversee the whole thing. Jail time or removal of your kids will be attached. "

Think Ali is joking? Remember it took 12 separate forms for each car in the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Support this and we all become unpaid nannies for our own kids!

3:58PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

"Once again looks like some people are trying to blame this on the Dems? They set it up? And then ask others what they are smoking if they disagree! That's almost funny.
How many of them are out of work, losing their home, no food, no insurance. What the Republicans did by denying this does not surprise me one bit."

But interference by the Government is far beyond the responsibilities granted them by their employment contract. You remember that - the Constitution!
Do you really want to replace your parents with them? Thought you couldn't wait to get out from under your parents. If you want someone to tell you everything you must do go back to mom & dad, at least they love you!

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