The National Wildlife Federation

Reversing Nature Deficit Canoe

No Child Left Inside

No Child Left Inside Coalition

This national coalition of over 100 groups is working together so environmental education is included in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law. These groups, including National Wildlife Federation, represent over 17 million people including teachers, conservationists, environmental educators, outdoors people and business leaders. >>learn more

States Are Taking Action

States are beginning to support environmental education and programs to reverse nature deficit.

Several states are addressing nature deficit through policy reform including:

New Mexico

If you live in one of these states, contact your state legislators to show you support these efforts to help children learn about the world around them.

Why Environmental Education Is Important

In the next 30 years, today’s children will inherit a world of environmental challenges. Will they be prepared to confront human-created climate change, air and water pollution and the loss of wildlife habitats? And will they even care?

Schools today are cutting environmental education, field trips and other outdoor activities. Visits to national parks have dropped sharply, along with the sale of fishing and hunting licenses across the country. In the meantime, children spend an average of 6.5 hours a day indoors,
looking at electronic screens.

Change will happen as concerned adults stand with NWF to take action—at home, in their schools and communities, states, and at a national level.

>>Learn more

No Child Left Behind Federal Reauthorization

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law has added new accountability to our schools, but its strong focus on testing has crowded out other subjects beyond math and reading.

Research shows that students whose studies include environmental education also are more successful in other subjects such as science, reading, math, and social studies.

No Child Left Inside Amendment

NWF is a member of the No Child Left Inside Coalition working to assure that the NCLB reauthorization includes environmental education. The amendment will:

  • grant states $100 million for five years to help schools train teachers
  • design environmental education curricula
  • increase opportunities for students to directly experience nature

 National Environmental Education Act

While the proposed No Child Left Inside amendment will put environmental education back into the classroom, the original goal of the National Environmental Education Act (NEEA) of 1990 was to develop environmentally literate citizens of all ages. Still operating today from a small office in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NEEA has provided the only ongoing federal funding for environmental education in recent years.

Today, national surveys show that people have a glaring ignorance of basic environmental knowledge, but they strongly support environmental education within school curriculum and for the public at large.

To achieve environmental literacy in the U.S. population, both legislative acts are needed. >>Learn More