Bipartisan Support for No Child Left Inside Act of 2013
The No Child Left Inside Act of 2013 is making headway in Congress with bipartisan support, as U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have re-introduced the legislation in an effort to strengthen and expand environmental education in America’s classrooms. This bill will allow federal assistance to states and provide schools with tools and funding they need to incorporate quality environmental education into their school’s curricula.
“Environmental awareness should be second nature for our young people, and protecting the environment is crucial to future economic growth,” said Senator Reed.
“Environmental education must be a national priority,” added Congressman Sarbanes. Congressman Fitzpatrick stated that “this bill reflects a larger overall responsibility to promote environmental stewardship across generations, (and) incorporating environmental learning is a down payment for our future.”
According to the NCLI Coalition, environmental education is “the study of the relationships and interactions between dynamic natural and human systems.” It helps develop awareness, increase knowledge, build skills, and create the capacity for stewardship and good citizenship.
Environmental education encourages hands-on learning experiences and outdoor interaction with the environment by incorporating it into school curriculum, including core subjects like math, science, and reading. The bill seeks to enhance student achievement throughout the learning spectrum and reconnect them with nature.
In addition, the bill will add environmental education as an authorized activity under other traditional federal grant programs and require cooperation, joint planning, and reporting by federal agencies involved in environmental education.
Earth Day Network would like to thank those who worked to introduce the bill, and we would also like to encourage supporters to contact your member of Congress and ask them to support this critical piece of legislation.
Environmental education can easily be incorporated into all disciplines and classrooms. Join our Educator’s Network and learn how you can bring environmental education into your classroom. Also on the website, you can find hundreds of sample lesson plans.
For more information on the bill, check out the No Child Left Inside Coalition’s website.