Every year following the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, environmental organizations throughout the United States extend their promotion of the environment during Environmental Education week. The organization behind this week of awareness is the National Environmental Education Foundation, also known as NEEF.
Last year in 2016, more than 400,000 people were estimated to have celebrated environmental education and its importance at over 3,000 events in every state, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. This year, the Earth Day Network is making the promotion of environmental and climate literacy its core theme of Earth Day 2017. As the movement toward educating ourselves and our children about our planet expands throughout the world, it is essential for schools and environmental organizations to promote the integration of environmental awareness and education in order to most effectively protect our planet for future generations.
One of the most important missions of the Earth Day Network this year has been promoting environmental awareness in primary and secondary schools. As these schools educate children and young adults about the environment and the impact that climate change has in the present and future, these kids will become more knowledgeable about the environment and also learn to think of solutions to issues such as air pollution, global warming, and habitat loss. This process is not only beneficial for the overall effectiveness of the environmentalist movement, but also positively effecting children’s lives and academic development. According to the NEEF, children who become involved in environmental education tend to be more physically active in their daily lives and thus have a healthier lifestyle. Likewise, environmental education has also been shown to develop more invested and independent students than those who aren’t exposed to environmentalist curricula.
As I finish this first blog, I encourage anyone who’s reading to participate in this year’s Earth Day environmental education initiative, and also celebrate National Environmental Education week from April 23rd to the 29th. I look forward to all of us becoming an integral part of EDN’s mission toward environmental and climate literacy.
By Patrick Kendall, Intern