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© 2008 Building a Movement to Reconnect Children & Nature © 2010 2010 Lumpkin Family Meeting July 17, 2010 Cheryl Charles, Ph.D. President and CEO, Children.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2008 Building a Movement to Reconnect Children & Nature © 2010 2010 Lumpkin Family Meeting July 17, 2010 Cheryl Charles, Ph.D. President and CEO, Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2008 Building a Movement to Reconnect Children & Nature © Lumpkin Family Meeting July 17, 2010 Cheryl Charles, Ph.D. President and CEO, Children & Nature Network

2 © 2008 Why care? Exploring preferences Applications Implications Learning Styles

3 © 2010 Getting Started: Pick One Pick one of the following activities that you would most enjoy doing—if you could only pick one. –Have a conversation with three people in your community about their most memorable childhood experiences and why they felt they were so special. –Identify, read and synthesize five fact-based research studies and objective reports to learn more about a topic that interests you. –Design something hands-on to construct a solution to a problem—and then build it. –Invent an entrepreneurial strategy for getting community leaders to make policy changes and get others involved to help.

4 © 2010 Exploring Preferences Poet Why care? Poet Why Care? Scholar What? Engineer How? Entrepreneur What If? From Coming Home By Cheryl Charles and Bob Samples Personhood Press, 2004 Active Reflective Subjective Objective

5 Applications School Business Home Community Philanthropy © 2010

6 Bob Samples The Metaphoric Mind (1976): the first book to bring the differentiation of the left and right hemispheres of the brain to the lay public Each one of us has a “whole brain.” © 2010

7 Howard Gardner Well known for pioneering work on multiple intelligences: –Linguistic –Logical-Mathematical –Musical –Bodily-Kinesthetic –Spatial-Visual –Interpersonal –Intrapersonal Considering additions: –Naturalist, Spiritual/Existential, Moral © 2010

8 Howard Gardner, cont. New book, Five Minds for the Future: –Disciplined –Synthesizing –Creating –Respectful –Ethical © 2009

9 Implications for the Lumpkin Family Foundation Vision: We envision prospering communities with well-informed and engaged citizenry. Mission: We support people pursuing innovation and long-lasting improvements in the environment, health, education and community access to the arts. © 2010

10 © 2008 Why care? What the evidence suggests Things we can do Facilitating social change Reconnecting Children and Nature

11 © 2008 Why Care?

12 © 2008 Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in everyone’s self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical and spiritual health depend upon it. Richard Louv Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature- Deficit Disorder

13 © 2008 The mission of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) is to build a worldwide movement to reconnect children and nature. Mission

14 © 2008 Communicate Network Synthesize Engage Initiate and Innovate What We Do

15 Children’s Health and Well-Being Play is an inherent childhood right Play in nature yields fundamental benefits for children’s healthy development Play in nature-based outdoor settings is a foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life Healthy communities are the foundation for peace in the world Healthy communities begin with healthy children © 2010

16 © 2008 What the Evidence Suggests* * See C&NN’s annotated bibliographies of research at

17 © 2010 What the Evidence Suggests: Risks and Trends Children are spending 40 to 65 hours or more a week connected with electronic media, and this has increased in the past five years. (Kaiser Family Foundation) Fewer than 1 in 5 children walk or ride a bike to school. (Centers for Disease Control) Childhood obesity and severe overweight in children and youth has increased from 4% in the 1960s to about 20% today, and is substantially higher in some communities. (Centers for Disease Control)

18 Risks and Trends, cont. Approximately 60% of obese children ages five to ten have at least one cardiovascular risk factor, such as high cholesterol. (Centers for Disease Control) There is an upward trend in high blood pressure in children ages eight to 18. (Journal of American Medical Association) Obese young people are more likely than children of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults. (Centers for Disease Control) © 2010

19 Risks and Trends, cont. There is a dramatic increase in diabetes in children and adolescents. (National Institutes of Health) The prevalence of childhood asthma has increased significantly in the past 20 years and is particularly high in poor urban communities. (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health) In countries throughout the world, children’s major free-time activity is watching television and little time is spent in free play exploring nature. (Singer et al.) © 2010

20 Risks and Trends, cont. Myopia or nearsightedness has become increasingly common in young children. (Opthamology) Worldwide there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in infants, children and teens, and is associated with chronic diseases. Reduced sun exposure is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. (Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders) © 2010

21 Risks and Trends, cont. Youth spend significantly less time in moderate- to-vigorous physical activity as they move from childhood to the teen years. Only17% of 15 year olds were found to get an hour a day of MVPA. (Journal of the American Medical Association) Children have less time for unstructured, creative play in the outdoors than ever before in human history. (Various researchers) This may be the first generation not to live as long as their parents. (US Surgeon Generals)

22 © 2010 What the Evidence Suggests: The Benefits Children are happier, healthier and smarter when they connect with nature. –Happier: Nature play increases self esteem, improves psychological health and reduces stress. Children learn self-discipline and are more cooperative. –Healthier: Nature play improves physical conditioning, reduces obesity and mitigates other health risk factors. –Smarter: Nature play stimulates creativity and improves problem solving. Children do better in school.

23 Benefits, cont. Daily exposure to natural settings is associated with children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities. (Wells) Children are less stressed, more self-disciplined, and have better social relationships with access to—and even a view of—nature in their daily lives. (Kuo, Kuo and Sullivan) Outdoor classrooms and nature-based education is associated with significant student gains in academic achievement. (American Institutes for Research) © 2010

24 The Benefits, cont. The greener a child’s everyday environment, the more manageable and mitigated are their symptoms of Attention-Deficit Disorder. (Faber Taylor and Kuo) Higher street tree density is associated with a lower prevalence of childhood asthma. (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health) Higher levels of total time spent outdoors is associated with lower prevalence of myopia among twelve-year olds. (Opthamology ) © 2010

25 Learning © 2010 Photo by Milton McClaren.

26 Risk Taking © 2010 Photo by Brett Hochmuth, Eagle Eye Photography.

27 Exhilaration © 2010 Photo Courtesy of Children in Nature Collaborative, Bay Area

28 Coordination © 2010 Photo Courtesy of Children in Nature Collaborative, Bay Area.

29 Courage © 2010 Photo Courtesy of Brother Yusuf Burgess.

30 Creativity © 2010 Photo by Judith Anderson.

31 Wonder © 2010 Photo by Brett Hochmuth, Eagle Eye Photography.

32 Growing Recommendations Children should be physically active at least 60 minutes a day. (American Academy of Pediatrics) Children’s exposure to television should be limited, with none for children from birth to two years of age. (American Academy of Pediatrics) © 2010

33 Recommendations, cont. Children should be within a quarter mile or ten minute walk of a park or other safe-outdoor place to play. (National Recreation and Parks Association) Child-friendly neighborhoods should include play spaces, paths, low-volume or no traffic, natural areas, child care centers and schools adjacent to parks and greenways, and more. (C&NN Letter submitted to US Green Building Council LEED Committee for Neighborhood Development) © 2010

34 © 2008 Things We Can Do

35 Things We All Can Do Take a child outside to play! Make re-connecting children and nature a priority. Educate parents, grandparents and other caregivers about the cognitive, physiological, and emotional benefits to children who play in the outdoors on a regular basis. Urge child care centers and schools to integrate outdoor nature-based experiences throughout the school curricula—and to reinstate recess where it has been eliminated. © 2010

36 Things We All Can Do, cont. Encourage nature-based, children-friendly spaces and places for play and learning throughout our communities. Support and encourage community gardens, parks and natural areas for play throughout communities. Get a creative group of attorneys together to help solve liability issues and concerns. Engage physicians to encourage them to prescribe nature-play, because it is good for children. © 2010

37 Things We All Can Do, cont. Educate architects, builders, community planners and civic leaders about the need for areas of native habitats in planned developments and existing neighborhoods so children have places to play that foster their imagination. Build new partnerships, and support existing efforts, to bring the resources of the private sector together with public agencies in bold, balanced and conserving ways to achieve a sustainable future. © 2010

38 © 2008 Facilitating Social Change Community, Creativity and Consciousness

39 © 2010 “Hope is a verb with its shirtsleeves rolled up.” David Orr

40 © 2008 Once a new idea is accepted by a group of “innovators” and “early adopters,” together typically representing 16% of the population, it becomes self- sustaining. Based on the work of Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations Tipping Points Programs Culture Change Policies

41 Our Audiences* Innovators (2.5% of population) Early Adopters (13.5% of population) Early Majority (34% of population) Late Majority (34% of population) Laggards (16% of population) * From Diffusion of Innovations, © 2010

42 Reaching the Innovators and Beyond Media Peer to peer, word-of-mouth Direct experience Reinforcement and adaptation © 2010

43 Natural Guides Diversity Niche Self Regulation Optimization Change Connectedness Community © 2010 From Coming Home By Cheryl Charles and Bob Samples

44 The Vision Beyond programs and legislation, our ultimate goal is deep cultural change—changing the cultural norm—by connecting children to nature, so that they can be happier, healthier and smarter. © 2010

45 A Few New C&NN Resources © 2010

46 A Few C&NN Resources C&NN Annotated Bibliographies of Research, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 (2007, 2008, 2009) C&NN Community Action Guide: Building the Children & Nature Movement from the Ground Up (January 2008) Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World Natural Leaders Network Tool Kit: Lead Your Own Adventure (2010) Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit: Do It Yourself! Do It Now (2009)—all at and Nature Rocks: Let’s Go Explore

47 © 2008 “I think it is important to play in nature because I feel better when I do.” Fifth Grade Girl Rockford, Illinois

48 © 2010 A Book that Launched a Movement

49 © 2008 Resources and References © 2010

50 A Few References Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. Algonquin, Coming Home: Community, Creativity and Consciousness by Cheryl Charles and Bob Samples. Personhood Press, Children and Nature by Peter H. Kahn, Jr. and Stephen R. Kellert. MIT Press, Building for Life by Stephen R. Kellert. Island Press, Biophilic Design by Stephen R. Kellert, Judith H. Heerwagen and Martin L. Mador. Wiley, 2008.

51 A Few References, cont. Natural Learning: Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching by Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong. MIG Communications,1997. Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators by David Sobel. Stenhouse Publishers, Learning with Nature Idea Book: Creating Nurturing Outdoor Spaces for Children by The National Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature Through the Seasons by Rick Van Noy. University of Georgia Press, © 2010

52 For Additional Information, contact: Children & Nature Network 7 Avenida Vista Grande B-7 #502 Santa Fe, NM C&NN is a 501c3 non-profit educational organization.


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