April 15, 2022

ANCA Endorses the No Child Left Inside Act

Students fish as part of a program with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National ParkThe Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) endorses the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Act, legislation that would expand support for educational experiences at nature centers and outdoor schools throughout the country. 

Such support would come through increased grant access for environmental education programs, as well as specific funding to establish a national pilot program for outdoor school models. As the Act itself says, “Hands-on experiences in nature help build stronger, smarter, and happier children.” This legislation is an important opportunity to support such experiences in nature.

As the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) reports,

“The No Child Left Inside Act would provide grants for states and school districts to integrate environmental education, including climate change education, into their core academic programs in accordance with statewide environmental literacy plans. It would support critical teacher professional learning and incentivize schools to use school facilities and school grounds for environmental and outdoor learning. The bill would authorize $150 million annually through 2027.”

ANCA Executive Director Jen Levy says of the bill, “ANCA endorses this important legislation and encourages ANCA members to do the same. NCLI will benefit nature centers and outdoor schools that have been doing the work to connect kids to nature for decades. We are especially excited about funding to establish a national pilot program for outdoor school models, and we urge Congress to prioritize providing hands-on, outdoor learning for all of our nation’s children.”

Learn more about the bill on the NAAEE website. ANCA members can receive updates on the NCLI Act and endorse the legislation by completing this form, managed by NAAEE.

The NCLI Act is authored by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are co-sponsoring the Senate bill; Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Langevin, Cicilline, Connolly, Perlmutter, and Sires are co-sponsoring the House bill.