Friday, May 16, 2008

NVRPA Endorses Leave No Child Inside Legislation

On May 15th, the Board of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority endorsed the Leave No Child Inside legislation sponsored by Congressman John Sarbanes (HR 3036).

This legislation would authorize funding for States to develop "environmental literacy plans" for K-12 primary education. The hope is that this would help bring more outdoor environmental education into the curriculum. On of the shortfalls of the Leave No Child Behind law is that it has driven school district to increasingly "teach the test" for the LNCB standards. One result of this has been less time for children to have environmental education and get outside the classroom.

This dynamic has been combined with a growing fear of strangers, fear of nature, and over structuring of children's "free time" to a point that children today are spending less and less time outdoor. Richard Louv outlines all of these factors in his best selling book Last Child in the Woods.

While the Leave No Child Inside legislation will not address all of these societal issues, it is a good step in the right direction, and might start the process of reengaging children with nature.

No comments: