On the Children & Nature Network home page, there is an icon (right hand column toward the bottom) called Family Activities, Family Stories: Where Nature Meets Story. It will take you to a diverse list of activities in nature for children of all ages (and adults), but more importantly, it also offers a list of books that children can read or have others read to them, books that relate to the nature activity described. Like so many wonderful things in nature, this icon just sits there quietly waiting to be discovered. It is about to be, thanks in large part to a recent blog by Richard Louv on Naturebraries.
The Children & Nature Network invested in the Where Nature Meets Story segment of our web site as our window on the important issue of children’s literacy, an especially challenging issue for children living in poverty. This window will be opened widely to the fresh breezes of creative ideas to reconnect children with the natural world through reading age-appropriate, nature-based books, inside and outside, in partnership with librarians and writers, followed by nature walks and other nature-based activities, perhaps even including mapping projects of nearby nature and pathways that are safe to explore. In addition to the benefits to children, the ultimate beneficiary may be the communities themselves as they discover how important the natural world really is for the people who live there.
In our short history, the movement to reconnect children with the natural world continues to reach ever more deeply into neighborhoods and communities, supported by Natural Teachers, Family Nature Clubs, our youth leadership group Natural Leaders, health professionals, afterschool professionals, and a vast array of grassroots organizations from 4H and American Camp Association. to the Sierra Club and the Arbor Day Foundation. As our recent Let’s G.O. (Get Outside!) initiative in April demonstrated, where we mobilized over 500 nature-based events in 44 states in a three- month period of organization, The Children & Nature Network can now effectively reach even deeper into the heart and soul of many communities: their libraries.
We welcome your ideas and suggestions for connecting kids to nature and literacy. Some libraries are already embracing nature-based literacy programs and even creating butterfly gardens that are filled with stories of magic and wonder. If your library is one of those, send the information our way. Stay tuned for more details. Let’s G.R.O.
More C&NN information on children, nature and literacy: