No Child Left Inside
In fall 2007, VLM Executive Director Page Hayhurst had the opportunity to meet Richard Louv, journalist and author of several books including "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder."
Louv, guest speaker at a James River Association meeting held at the Museum, remarked that children are spending less free time outside, often due to overscheduled extra-curricular activities or parents fearing for children’s safety. His research links this change to an increase in a wide range of children’s behavioral problems such as attention deficit disorder and rising childhood obesity rates.
In the conversation Louv praised the Virginia Living Museum and other organizations that promote environmental education and value the wonders of nature. He was impressed with the Museum’s knowledgeable volunteers and outstanding exhibits and the experiences offered in our family “safaris.” He also praised the Museum’s work with economically disadvantaged students whose only interaction with nature comes during a classroom program at the VLM.
Louv’s message was gratifying and hopeful – with education and more interaction with nature, we can preserve and protect our precious resources and our children will be healthier and happier in the bargain.
The Virginia Living Museum is among more than 300 organizations that have joined the No Child Left Inside Coalition to lobby for legislation and galvanize public support for promoting environmental and outdoor education in our nation's schools.
"Get 'em Outside" is a wonderful, five-minute video celebrating the value of environmental education and is quite popular on YouTube. Click here to see the video.