This project will send over 100 elementary school children to a weekly after school program at four NC elementary schools during the 2014-15 school year. The children will be connected with nature through hands-on activities that will alleviate their fear of being outside, inspire them to help protect the environment, and to live within nature in a more sustainable way. The students will also learn to give back to the community by completing a service project at the end of the school year.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Young people are becoming disconnected from their natural world. This lack of nature is linked to some disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. The No Child Left Behind Act is contributing to a K-12 environmental literacy gap by reducing nature education in schools. Its testing for core subjects is causing schools to eliminate nature education. This project brings nature to over 100 students & will be expanded to 3 new schools each year.
How will this project solve this problem?
We provide hands-on activities in a natural environment at the school to incorporate nature education into the existing school system. Children learn new skills while getting physical activity outdoors. Through games, hands-on activities and hikes they learn not to fear the outdoors, how to identify insects, plants & animals, how to have fun in the outdoors, how to trust & work with others, & build community. They also learn from wildlife ambassadors how to protect wildlife and local ecosystems.
Potential Long Term Impact
This project will educate over 100 elementary school students so they are connected to their community and nature, becoming stewards of their environment. We will be replicating this program at additional elementary schools for the following school year with the goal of reaching 12 elementary schools by 2016-17. Increased success at each school makes us more visible in the community, making it easier to bring our program to more schools, connecting more students, improving their quality of life
Total Funding Received to Date: $2,700
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $37,300
Total Funding Goal: $40,000