LEAVE NO CHILD INSIDE–FAQ
1. What is Leave No Child Inside? Leave No Child Inside is the name of a grassroots national/international movement to reconnect children with the out-of-doors and the natural world.
2. Who started this movement and when did it start? In 2006 best selling author Richard Louv called for a national movement to reconnect children with nature. After publishing his ground breaking and best selling book “Last Child in the Woods–Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder,” citizens from around the country began to spontaneously organize around the children and nature issue. So many people were organizing to get children back outside and reconnected with nature, Louv realized a movement was a foot and he officially gave it a name: Leave No Child Inside.
3. Why did it start? Like many people across the country, Louv started noticing that children were spending the bulk of their time inside–neighborhoods that 30 years ago had been filled with children playing, biking, building forts and climbing trees, today were empty of this same activity. He also was noticing that children were not as healthy as they used to be. He spent 10 years collecting research to try to understand why childhood had seemingly become an indoor experience and why children were not as healthy as they used to be? He thought there might be a correlation between this new indoor lifestyle and the unhealthiness of today’s children. He was right. “Last Child in the Woods” is the compilation of 10 years of research.
4. Who is involved in the Leave No Child Inside Movement? One of the strengths of the Leave No Child Inside movement is that it seems to resonate with almost everyone, from every sector, discipline and political persuasion. This is because the success of the movement has outcomes that will effect everyone.
At its very core, Leave No Child Inside is a public health issue. More and more studies are showing that spending time in nature is crucial for our children’s healthy development . Everyone wants to see our children become more healthy, and so parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, civic leaders, park, recreation and camp industry leaders, urban designers, developers and many more are all working together to bring more outside time and more nature into our children’s everyday lives.
LNCI is also a health issue in regards to our natural world, and so the children and nature issue also appeals greatly to the conservationists in all of us. After all, helping our children to connect with and to fall in love with nature will certainly help them to want to protect it.
Finally, the success of this movement appeals to park, camp and individual nature folks as well, as the success of the movement will continue to increase demand for these outdoor nature experiences.
5. What is No Child Left Inside and how does it relate to Leave No Child Inside? No Child Left Inside is the name of an initiative started by Governor Jodi Rell of Connecticut. It is just one of the many initiatives that started after Louv’s book was published. No Child Left Inside is also the name of national legislation currently pending. The No Child Left Inside Act will provide funding for environmental education to get more students learning outside.
6. How big is the LNCI movement? There are currently over 80 Leave No Child Inside (also called Children and Nature) leadership campaigns around the country. Some of these initiatives go by the name “Leave No Child Inside,” some by “No Child Left Inside,” and some by different names all together. Whatever the name, all are working to re-create an outdoor culture that will support our children’s outdoor play, learning and life long connection with the natural world.
7. Is there a Leave No Child Inside Organization? In 2006 Richard Louv co-founded the Children and Nature Network (C&NN) at <childrenandnature.org> to help grow and facilitate the Leave No Child Inside movement. The network is a 501c3 organization, however, it does not dictate to the grassroots leaders. The C&NN offers instead a web site full of information and resources to empower present and future LNCI leaders to continue growing the movement to reconnect all of our children with the natural world.