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Representative George Miller
House Education and Labor Committee
2205 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Miller:

We are writing to support the No Child Left Inside Act that is to be considered by the Education and Labor Committee this Wednesday. We applaud your efforts to make environmental education a priority.

This legislation, sponsored by Rep. John P. Sarbanes, is a very good step in the right direction to help improve our schools’ ability to offer high-quality lessons about the environment. It will provide critically needed support to states to train teachers, develop scientifically grounded programs and create environmental literacy plans to ensure that students are environmentally literate when they graduate from high school.

We are proud to be part of the NCLI Coalition, which has grown to include roughly 350 groups across the country – from the areas of the environment, education, public health, business, outdoor recreation and others. Representing more than 20 million people, these groups all want to give schools the resources they need to offer excellent environmental lessons to students, both inside and outside the classroom.

Environmental education is important for three key reasons:

 It has a positive impact on student achievement in core subjects: When integrated into the core curricula or used as an integrating theme across the curriculum, environmental education has a measurably positive impact not only on student achievement in science but also in reading, math and social studies. Moreover, outdoor activities increases student engagement and interest in science and in all core subjects areas.

 It helps improves the health of our children: Field experiences and related programs as part of the regular school curriculum contribute to healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition. Getting kids outdoors to exercise, play and experience their natural world is critical to helping to prevent obesity, alleviating attention deficit disorder and addressing other related health problems.

 It provides critical tools for a 21st Century workforce. We’ll be passing on complicated environmental problems to future generations. We must give the next generation a solid understanding of these problems and the basic tools to overcome them and make informed choices in their own lives. Business leaders also increasingly believe that an environmentally literate workforce is critical to their long term success. Environmental education helps prepare students for real world challenges.

Again, thank you for your interest in the NCLI Act, and we stand ready to provide you with any information you may need as you take action on this important issue.