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No Child Left Inside Act Re-Introduced – VIDEO

No Child Left Inside Act Re-Introduced – VIDEO

Congressman John Sarbanes (Democrat – Maryland) re-introduced the No Child Left Inside Act earlier this month, while Senators Jack Reed (Democrat – Rhode Island) and Mark Kirk (Republican – Illinois) brought the bill back to the Senate.

The bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress, but never became law.

What Is No Child Left Inside?

In addition to being a wonderful name, The No Child Left Inside Coalition is a national coalition of over 2000 business, health, youth, faith, recreational, environmental, and educational groups representing over 50 million Americans. It was formed in 2007 to alert Congress and the public to the need for our schools to devote more resources and attention to environmental education.

This legislation was born from their efforts. No Child Left Inside (NCLI) would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) to include environmental education for the first time. The legislation would provide new funding for environmental education, particularly to develop rigorous standards, train teachers and to develop state environmental literacy plans. It also proposes giving states that develop such environmental literacy plans access to additional funds.

Environmental Education Facing A National Crisis

“Environmental education is facing a national crisis,” Sarbanes said, in a statement on his website. “Many schools are being forced to scale back or eliminate environmental education programs. The No Child Left Inside Act seeks to give schools and teachers the resources and flexibility to spark the imagination of our nation’s children.”

“By creating an environmental education grant program and providing teacher training for environmental education across the curriculum, we can prepare our children for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics jobs that will be the cornerstone of the United States’ 21st century economy,” he added. “Research shows that hands-on, outdoor environmental education has a measurably positive impact not only on student achievement in science, but also in reading, math, and social studies.”

It is interesting that Sarbanes represents Maryland, where the Board of Education passed the first-ever environmental literacy graduation requirement last month.

If you still need convincing how important this bill is, check out this great video.

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No Impact Project Provides Free Environmental Education Curriculum For Teachers

Photo Credit: Wellspring CS via Creative Commons

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23 comments

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8:52PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Educator Charlotte Mason included nature studies into the school day without huge grants. Her narration approach to education was so effective that there was plenty of time in the school day for outdoor exploration. I'm not sure why it should take a gigantic grant to accomplish this. The one day a teacher took us out into the woods is probably one of the 5 most memorable events of my high school years. Too bad field trips are so wrapped up in red tape and fear of litigation these days.

2:50PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

John Sarbanes...any relation to former Senator Paul Sarbanes?

I'm all for this-kids need to learn about the environment and caring for it, and I'm glad that I live in a town where they have programs like that. The middle school started a wetland project on school property several years ago, and now it's a thriving spot-this spring, I heard many kinds of frogs and toads there, saw many varieties of water grasses, and even saw a whole flock of red-winged blackbirds one evening. It's one of my favorite places to walk past of an evening.

Now, if they would just form an environmental club on the elementary school level as well as middle and high school....

7:25PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Seems like a rare piece of bipartisan brightness.Want. more.

6:23PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Finally, someone is using their brain. Our teacher did that once only in highschool and you cant imagine what it did to our spirits! No, we werent kids, but being outside when the weather is beautiful seriously affects your mood and your willingness to learn.

4:30PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

This is so awesome! I would vote yes any day! I remember in school, we would take walks into the woods and raise baby salmon to reintroduce to local streams. I will always remember that! If only we could have that in every school. Maybe not raising fish but something else that could help the local habitations. I think that would make every town much nicer.

2:38PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Everything 1st starts with the parents and people that are around the kids regularly. That's where it begins,.

2:04PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Thanks for the interesting article.

9:41AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Actually schools did this some years ago taking children out of the classroom to teach and somehow became a book learning only education system developed. I hope this passes and children have true educational experiences.

9:07AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

I thought it was about getting kids outside, too, lol. We are a nation with a severe lack of Vitamin D, sounded good to me! I can't think of a better course to include in the day than "organic gardening," with the produce being used for school lunches and food pantries. We've strayed so far from our agricultural roots, that people don't know how to grow their own food any more - or even if they know a bit, they aren't able to do it with confidence. Then, even if jobs are scarce, our kids will have a chance at feeding themselves well while engaging in a life-long healthy habit/hobby.

7:56AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

I believe that there is no better way in the world to educate children than to give them an environment to learn in that awakens their interest, If school is interesting, everyone is happier to learn.

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