President Bush and many educators have worked over the past several years to close the academic achievement gap between groups of students. Should his educational legacy also include closing the nature gap as well?
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is gathering support for the No Child Left Inside Act, a federal bill that would offer states incentives to develop Environmental Literacy Plans and integrate environmental education across K-12 curricula. The No Child Left Inside Act aims to ensure that schools have the resources and training necessary to help the next generation understand and address the challenges of protecting the environment.
Connecting children with nature is a goal that is beginning to gain steam here in Greensboro. Last Saturday, about 30 people viewed a documentary at The HIVE in Glenwood about the disconnect between today's generation of children and nature and unstructured play.
Given that No Child Left Behind has been underfunded since its inception and criticized for faulty implementation, I'm not sure another federal law is the best approach toward this issue. However, a healthy dialogue about the children's lack of exposure to the outdoors is needed.