We are proud to have signed and support the following letter to Congress.
What Is Environmental Education?
Environmental education is the study of the relationships and interactions between dynamic natural and human systems. Environmental education:
- Includes learning in the field as well as the classroom
- Incorporates the teaching methods of outdoor education, experiential education, and place-based education
- Is inherently interdisciplinary
- Promotes school/community partnerships
- Is hands-on, student-centered, inquiry driven, engages higher level thinking skills, and relevant to students’ everyday lives
- Develops awareness, increases knowledge, builds skills, and creates the capacity for stewardship and good citizenship regarding the environment upon which we depend for life support.
- Helps address the causes of “nature deficit disorder”
- Boosts student achievement in math, science, reading, writing and social studies
On behalf of sportsmen’s organizations, we urge you to vote YES on H.R. 3036, the No Child Left Inside Act, which will provide significant new support and funding for environmental education in the nation’s public K-12 schools. As life-long hunters, anglers and conservation advocates, we are greatly concerned about the growing disconnect between children and nature. Today’s children spend half as much time outside as kids did just 20 years ago and, on average, spend six and a half hours every day plugged into electronic media. Fewer children know the joys of hunting, fishing, and even simply playing outside. As a result, hunting and fishing licenses across the country have plummeted, creating a crisis for state natural resources budgets. We need to engage this generation with nature and educate them about the natural world.
Environmental education is one of the best ways to help children connect with the environment. It also provides complex problem-solving skills for our future high-tech workforce and heightens student interest in science and math. Research shows that academic test scores in language arts,reading, math, social studies, and science improve across the board when environmental issues are used as an integrated concept in the classroom. Environmental field education as part of the regular school curriculum also contributes to healthy lifestyles by getting kids outside to exercise and play in nature.
For these reasons, we strongly support H.R. 3036, the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008. The bill creates new funding for: 1) training teachers in environmental education; 2) for expanding environmental education programs; and 3) for states to create environmental literacy plans,which will ensure that U.S. graduates are environmentally literate. The bill enjoys widespread bipartisan support and overwhelmingly passed the House Education and Labor Committee by a 37-8 vote, and was supported by Chairman George Miller (D-CA) and Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-CA).
We want the next generation to enjoy hunting, fishing, and spending down time in the great outdoors. Environmental education is a great way to foster that connection with nature and to spark interest in conservation and outdoor recreation. Therefore, we urge you to vote YES onH.R. 3036, the No Child Left Inside Act.
Alabama Wildlife Federation
American Deer and Wildlife Alliance
American Fly Fishing Trade Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Boone and Crockett Club
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Federation of Fly Fishers
Fifth District Federation of Kentucky Sportsmen
Florida Billfish, Inc.
Florida Wildlife Federation
Georgia Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
Kansas Wildlife Federation
League of Kentucky Sportsmen
League of Ohio Sportsmen
Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Montana Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Nebraska Wildlife Federation
Nevada Wildlife Federation
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Renewable Resources Coalition, Inc.
South Carolina Wildlife Federation
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
The Sailfish Tournament LLC
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Washington Wildlife Federation
Wildlife Management Institute
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Wyoming Wildlife Federation