Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tell the DOED: Get Kids Outside and Learning!

I received this information in an email from the Sierra Club regarding the No Child Left Inside Act, which is currently being looked at by the Department of Education (DOE) for reauthorization.  The No Child Left Inside website states that the DOE is requesting comments on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, the official name of the act), as they draft new language in the bill.  The following is a sample e-mail provided by the Sierra Club that you may wish to personalize and send to the DOE at

The following is taken from the Sierra Club Website:

America's K-12 students need your support to make sure they have opportunities to learn about the natural world, get outdoors and develop a foundation for success in the green economy.  The Department of Education is currently considering the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind) and we need your help to make sure that environmental education does not get left behind.

Subject:  Please Include Environmental Education in the Elementary and and Secondary Education Act

Dear Secretary Duncan,

As you consider strategies to strengthen the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, I urge you to include the provisions outlined in the No Child Left Inside Act (S.866 and H.R. 2054), which would expand opportunities for environmental and outdoor education in public schools across the nation.

Environmental education has been shown to improve student achievement across core subject areas and increase engagement in learning.  A recent major study of experiential environmental education concluded that science test scores of at-risk youth could be improved upwards of 27 percent by outdoor environmental education.

Learning in the outdoors is also known to improve critical thinking, motivation to learn, self-esteem, conflict-resolution skills, problem solving, and classroom behavior.  Time spent outdoors during the school day would also help to promote active lifestyles that can help fight the obesity epidemic that threatens our children.  Furthermore, environmental education will give our students the knowledge and skills to tackle complex problems and succeed in the green economy.

Leaving environmental education out of the administration's priorities for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization would be a missed opportunity to improve student achievement and to address President Obama's priorities of energy independence, a strengthened economy, and a healthier nation.

If you are sending an e-mail, address it to

For additional information regarding this bill, check out the No Child Left Inside website, the North American Association for Environmental Education site, and  the Open Congress site.


  1. I applaud your efforts to get our children out from behind theie keyboards and out enjoying all yhe great outdoors has to offer. I am so wanting to do the same myself......

  2. This ridiculous idea of cutting back on outdoor education activities through the schools is about as stupid as thinking that kids will get rid of their video games and opt for a game of kickball. This "No Child Left Inside" act is one of the smartest things that the Board of Education has ever come up with. I hope they wake up before we put the health of our future in jeopardy.