No Child Left Inside

It can be difficult to work, learn, think when the temperature begins to rise and spring flowers are blooming.

I wrote a story today about an education trend that takes advantage of our yearning to be outside. A growing number of environmentalists, children's health advocates and educators are pushing against the tendencies of No Child Left Behind to cancel recess and spend every classroom minute preparing for math and reading tests.

Hundreds of schools are adapting lessons instead to the garden outside the classroom window. There, students can learn how to measure or divide by building planter boxes or pulling worms in half! And they can associate math and science lessons with the good feelings that come from a healthy dose of Vitamin D and a crisp breeze.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has spearheaded a campaign called No Child Left Inside to amend the next draft of the federal education law to include funding for things like school gardens and field trips. For some children, particularly in inner-city schools, exposure to nature is limited.

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  March 30, 2009; 9:22 AM ET
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