Back to School Week: Texas Children in Nature

Children connecting with nature. Image: www.texaschildreninnature.org

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” in his 2006 book, Last Child in the Woods. Three years later, the Children in Nature Network formed.

And the real work began: to reconnect children and families with nature around the state.

Jennifer Bristol coordinates the Texas Children in Nature program at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We work with over 500 partner organizations to look at how does the education, the conservation, the built environment, the faith communities, the different youth development communities, health community—all work in tandem to make sure that we are doing our very best to connect more children and families with nature.

Children spend between 7 and 11 hours indoors with media. Health experts attribute this sedentary lifestyle to a rise in childhood obesity and behavior issues.

When they’re not connected with nature, those things are more prevalent. Versus if they’re outdoors and they’re active and they’re enjoying playing in nature—those are healthy life choices that stick with them for their entire life.

Teachers can help improve the future of our youth.

What I talk to teachers about all the time is any lesson can be taught outdoors. It’s very beneficial; they’re more engaged while they’re out there. And most teachers that take that step out the door see good results.

Find classroom resources on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website—click the Education tab. And, the Nature Rocks Texas website points families to nearby nature-based activities.

Our series receives support from RAM Trucks; built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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