Preventing "Nature Deficit Disorder" In Kids
05/16/11 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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It's a common belief that kids today generally don't spend as much time roaming and exploring outside as their parents once did. There are video games and smartphones and the Internet drawing them indoors. And there is the fear factor too, for many parents: that something bad will happen if their kids are off on their own outdoors, out of sight. But many educators are saying that kids are missing out on crucial experiences and benefits that come with spending time connecting with nature - everything from concrete skills, to science education, to physical and emotional benefits.
We talk to Matt Kolan, a field naturalist and lecturer at UVM's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Camilla Rockwell, who recently directed the film "Mother Nature's Child" about what journalist Richard Louv dubbed "nature deficit disorder" in his bestselling book "Last Child In The Woods."
Also on the program, VPR's Nina Keck reports on a unique Vermont-based program that trains volunteers to bring the mysteries of nature to students in more than 100 public and private elementary schools.