No Child Left Inside Act Wins in Congress

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Children and teachers won a big victory last week with the
passage of the No
Child Left Inside Act
of 2008 in the House of Representatives. The popular,
bi-partisan bill passed by a vote of 293-109. The bill was written to better
prepare teachers for using hands-on environmental education to engage students
in learning in the great outdoors. Research shows that exposure to nature
improves student achievement in the classroom.

"Passage of the No Child Left Inside Act is a huge
victory for everyone who cares about connecting
kids to nature
," said Larry Schweiger, President of the National
Wildlife Federation. "The bipartisan support this bill garnered
underscores what we all know—hands-on environmental education is good for kids.
It’s good for their academic performance, their health, and for the future of
our planet."

Passage of the bill is especially timely given that today’s
kids spend half as much time outside as children did 20 years ago and average
44.5 hours a week in front of some type of electronic entertainment. Not
surprisingly, recent studies confirm that children are increasingly
disconnected from nature. Furthermore, the research shows that kids who have a
significant outdoor experience before age 11 are more likely to have a
life-long conservation ethic.

The No Child Left
Inside Act
(H.R. 3036) coalition has more then 700 members and includes
educational institutions, business groups, and environmental, sportsmen, and
healthcare organizations.

To see how your member voted, visit
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll614.xml.

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