Friday, July 16, 2010
You may or may not know that there is a current push for the inclusion of environmental education into the National Elementary and Secondary Education Act through an amendment called No Child Left Inside (NCLI). You can find out more about this grassroots effort online. For Ohio's part, the Environmental Education Council of Ohio is working with ODNR, ODE, Ohio EPA, Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, and the Leave No Child Inside Coalition to develop a state Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP). This ELP has to be in place to capture funding should the NCLI amendment pass as there are significant dollars that will be distributed to states to help in including environmental, conservation and outdoor education into the regular school curriculum. This includes the creation of schoolyard habitats, field investigation opportunities, and professional development for teachers in this type of education. Check out the Children and Nature Network to find extensive research on the advantages and benefits of spending time outdoors and using the outdoors as a context for learning. And, you can feel free to contact any of the partnering agencies for additional information about the status of Ohio's ELP.