Exploring ways to "green" childhood in Houston

Connecting children to nature at school and at home

02-02-2011 // Lacey McCormick
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A Houston environmental education summit, “Green Schools, Green Families, Green Sites,” will highlight the role schools and communities can play in reversing the growing trend of the "indoor child" and getting children back in touch with nature.

“Children today are spending an over seven hours a day watching TV, on the computer or playing video games. It’s no surprise these kids are less fit, less able to concentrate and less effective in the classroom,“ says Marya Fowler, Senior Education Manager with the National Wildlife Federation. “We know outdoor education creates healthier, happier and smarter students. Our summit will help parents and educators explore how to reconnect children with the natural world, both during the school day and at home.”

The summit is offering over 20+ small-group workshops and outdoor activities for parents, teachers and anyone who cares about reconnecting children with nature, including: "Literature in the Garden," "Creating Successful Schoolyard Habitats," "Latino Legacy: Community Service Learning," "The Scientist in Your Backyard" and many more.

“Getting students involved with greening their schools not only improves their health, but it gives students an opportunity to apply core science and math skills to a real-world situation," said Terry Grier, Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District. "Greening the school grounds and the school curriculum is an important part of this effort. This summit is a wonderful resource for anyone involved with educating today's youth--be they parents, teachers or administrators."

In a show of the Houston district’s commitment to the issue, Grier will be speaking at the summit along with Jayni Chase, Founder of the Center for Environmental Education and wife of the actor Chevy Chase.

"Raising a healthy, happy and fit next generation of Houstonians is important to our future," said Houston mayor Annise Parker. "The City of Houston is committed to working with the districts to create green, sustainable environments in schools and on school grounds. This summit will provide us with ideas and inspiration for making this vision a reality."

Green Schools, Green Families, Green Sites Summit

Saturday, February 5 · 8 am - 4 pm

The University of Houston-Downtown, One Main Street

$10 registration includes breakfast and lunch

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