House Committee Approves No Child Left Inside Act

The "No Child Left Inside" movement pushed by a local congressman took a significant step forward last week.

Members of the House Education and Labor Committee approved Wednesday the No Child Left Inside Act.

Sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes and others, the bill sends money to states to expand environmental and outdoor education programs. The states also will receive money to develop plans to make sure graduates are "environmentally literate."

Mr. Sarbanes, D-Baltimore County, represents parts of Anne Arundel County.

Mr. Sarbanes' push for the bill took him to the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel on Earth Day, where the committee held a hearing after seeing kids in action learning in the great outdoors.

The push for more environmental education has its roots in the book "Last Child in the Woods," in which author Richard Louv decries the lack of outdoor learning and play available to children today.

The coalition supporting the No Child Left Inside Act grew to more than 300 groups. A companion bill in the Senate has not been voted on.

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