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NC Coalition Wants to Make ‘Go Outside and Play’ Official State Policy

NC Coalition Wants to Make ‘Go Outside and Play’ Official State Policy
This summer would be a good time for kids to turn off the TV, put down the Nintendos and go outside and play – that’s the thrust of a campaign being spearheaded by a coalition whose mission is to “reconnect children with nature.”

In fact, the group, the North Carolina Children and Nature Coalition, wants the state to officially shoo kids out the door. The Asheboro, N.C.-based group is working here in Raleigh to get the State Legislature to endorse their campaign by passing a “Children’s Bill of Rights.”

The proposal, which requires no funding or policy changes, purports to protect various “opportunities” that “every North Carolina child should have.” The opportunities – which some couch potatoes may see more as challenges – include such activities as “camping under the stars, learning to swim, riding a bike.”

Playing outside is becoming a lost art, said Kathy Bull, chairwoman of the NCCAN! Coalition.

“We have just forgotten how to do it or we get too busy…We need to get back to basics,” Bull said.

She said the coalition hopes to “change our culture to embrace and value getting outside [and] getting connected to nature.”

The campaign is motivated by more than nostalgia; according to a statement from the coalition, “a growing body of research has led to a national conversation regarding the correlation between outdoor activity in nature and issues related to children's health, education, and social skill development.”

The coalition consists of groups…
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