Wild Ones supports No Child Left Inside (NCLI) movement
Providing new support and funding for environmental education is a critically important goal that all of us share. After more than a year of work in Washington, D.C., and around the country, the No Child Left Inside Coalition is making enormous progress to meet that goal. It has achieved that progress through the collective power of the No Child Left Inside Coalition, of which Wild Ones is member.
For further information, use the GoodSearch search engine and look for “benefits of environmental education.” There’s a tremendous amount of information out there.
"...ignorance breeds indifference: what we know we may choose to care for. What we fail to recognize, we certainly won't." --Robert Michael Pyle 2001
Information and other materials regarding No Child Left Inside (NCLI) can be found on the Coalition’s website.
Feb 11, 2008 (Mon)
NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE Update
Urge Members of the US Senate
to Support the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007
The No Child Left Inside Coalition needs you to step forward now and tell members of the U.S. Senate that you strongly support environmental education. The Coalition’s legislation, the No Child Left Act (S.1981), would strengthen and expand environmental education, and would reconnect children with nature through outdoor learning experiences. The NCLI Act provides funding for environmental education programs and teacher professional development in states with K-12 environmental literacy plans. Such funding is critically needed to help young people understand their natural world.
The action is now in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which is considering education funding issues as it works to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind law. Sen. Edward Kennedy, chairman of the committee, plans to produce a No Child Left Behind bill by April. We want as many cosponsors as possible of the NCLI Act, which will send a signal to the Senate HELP Committee that support is broad and diverse.
The power of the No Child Left Inside Coalition rests with the members of its affiliated organizations, such as ours. So, please take a few minutes and call or write your senators and ask them to cosponsor the NCLI legislation.
For a list of members of your legislature.
1. Call your senators, and ask them to cosponsor S. 1981, the No Child Left
2. Write a letter on your organization’s letterhead to encourage your senators to cosponsor the No Child Left Inside Act. (Sample letter below.)
3. Send a follow up report to the NCLI Coalition Grassroots Coordinator (Abby Ybarra so he can track which senators have been contacted.
Go to Coalition's website to learn more about the No Child Left Inside Act. The website includes a link to allow you to send an email to members of Congress as well as other useful tools, such as guidelines on writing a letter to your local newspaper’s editor.
Please get involved now. Together we can promote healthier kids and a healthier world!
Sample letter and list of senators on HELP Committee .
Nov 21, 2007 (Wed)
No Child Left Inside Scoop (NCLI)
Congress is in recess for 2 weeks. This is a great time to ask for meetings in legislators’ home offices.
Most likely, NCLB bills will not go to committee markup until early 2008.
We need to take this opportunity to ask legislators to cosponsor and support the
Read on for more a more detailed campaign update …
T-SHIRT DESIGN -- Thank you all for your votes and comments on the t-shirt design for the No Child Left InsideSM Coalition. It is the back of the off-white shirt while the NCLI logo is on the front. If you'd like one of the t-shirts, e-mail Erica Miller.
As you may have guessed, neither the House nor Senate education committee went to markup on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) bill before the Thanksgiving break, 2 weeks starting 11/16. Given the full schedule in both chambers when they return, we are hearing from Congressional staff that it is unlikely that markup on NCLB will occur before the end of 2007, but is more likely early in 2008. Keep in mind that Congress is unpredictable, so this is our best guess given what we hear from Congressional staff.
The most important mission of our Coalition right now is to ensure that the language of NCLI) makes it into the draft NCLB bills as they are being written, before markup! Markup will occur one day (hopefully with a week’s notice, but that is not guaranteed) when the committee members meet and decide what stays in and what is omitted from the draft bill. Then the committee votes on the bill, and if there is a majority in favor of it, it is reported out of the committee and eventually is scheduled on the chamber’s floor calendar.
At committee markup, if some of the language of NCLI is left out, as is currently the case with H.R.3036 (it does not include state environmental literacy plans), we will work with the bill sponsors (Sarbanes and Reed) on an amendment strategy, however it is very difficult to get the language amended during markup, so the best time to get the language included is as soon as possible.
Even if the NCLB bills do not make it to the floor until after the 2008 election, the House and Senate, in all likelihood, will not go back to the drawing board on NCLB, but will start with the bills that were reported out of committee.
We consider the possible delay after markup good for the Coalition, as it will allow us to continue to build strength. Since June, when markup was first mentioned, our Coalition has grown from 30 to now over 130 organizations, representing over 17 million members. But as mentioned previously, we need to put our collective strength to work NOW to ensure all of the NCLI language is in the NCLB bills.
Today on http://thomas.loc.gov/ there are 34 cosponsors representing 18 states, each with at least one cosponsor: AZ, CA, CO, GA, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA, WI. Seven Senate cosponsors are now posted [Collins and Snowe (ME), Whitehouse (RI), Sanders (VT), Durbin (IL), Kerry (MA), and Lincoln (AR)], but we have heard that Senators Cardin (MD) and Wyden (OR) have also signed on.
ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY PLANS
As you know, Chairman Miller released the House Committee on Education and Labor’s NCLB reauthorization draft bill earlier this fall. We hear that the committee received tens of thousands of comments! They are considering the comments, including those from our Coalition, and deciding on language to include in the draft. The good news is that the EE program funding is included. The bad news is that environmental literacy plans are not included. We believe that the plans are essential to ensure that EE is integrated in the K-12 curriculum, and that the state educational agency should be responsible for ensuring that the plans are created and implemented. A new environmental literacy plan does not need to be created in states that already have them. The creation or modification of these plans is meant to be a collaborative process with the state educational agency taking the lead and receiving input from environmental, natural resource, and other agencies and the public. The executive summary of the NCLB Act that gives more information on the literacy plans and the EE program funding.
Given the new timing of the NCLB bills, here (again) are things you can do to help the cause:
1. Thank all the cosponsors of H.R.3036 and S.1981.
2. Contact all other members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor and support the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 (H.R.3036, S.1981):
Ask your organization’s members to contact their representatives and senators. See sample action alert.
Ask those with relationships with members of Congress to contact them.
Visit your members of Congress during the Thanksgiving break. Many of them will be working in their home offices.
If you have a conference coming up, consider setting up a bank of computers from which attendees can go to send an email to their representatives and senators.
3. Members of Congress pay close attention to media in their districts and
states. Can your organization host a NCLI Days media event with a local
school? Given that the sooner is the better, why not use an outdoor learning
event that is already on your organization’s schedule? Invite a member of
Congress and a reporter to attend. Send press releases, photos, and any
printed articles to the Congressional members after the event. Informative
materials can be found on the Coalition’s website.
4. In addition to photo ops with kids learning outside, consider writing a letter to the editor or an op-ed in your local newspaper. Doug Beck of the Maine Recreation and Park Association wrote the a compelling op-ed that was published in the Kennebec Journal on 10/16. Doug received assistance from the Hatcher Group. If you would like to write an op-ed or need any help with media, contact Tom Waldron at the Hatcher Group.
5. If you can reach the editorial board of a local paper, you may be able to convince them to write a favorable editorial such as the one which appeared in the Detroit Free Press.
Please send copies of editorials, letters to the editor, or articles to appropriate legislators’ press staff and also a copy to Anita Kraemer,
If you have any questions about the Coalition’s work, please send Anita Kraemer an email. Thank you for everything you are doing for the NCLI campaign!
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Updated: Mar 28, 2008.