Make outdoor learning accessible for youth across BC!
Nature is a place of healing and learning, especially for young minds. Not only does time spent outdoors help foster an appreciation for and connection to the natural world we are all a part of, but countless studies have proven that nature connection is critical in supporting our mental and physical health.
Now, as students and teachers face feelings of stress and unease about returning to school amidst the pandemic, nature’s mental health support has never been more needed at schools.
COVID-19 has increased anxiety, depression, uncertainties and phobias for people around the world, including youth. Outdoor learning offers many opportunities to counter increased stress and screen time, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.In fact, time outdoors helps ensure health, happiness, resilience and connection to place in these uncertain times.
However, accessto outdoor learning opportunities are not equitable across BC. Many schools don’t have enough staff to safely accompany classes outside, many teachers receive minimal or no training in outdoor education, and outdoor learning spaces are often dependent on fundraising by parents.
Let’s change this.
Right now, we have the chance to make outdoor learning accessible for all. As the BC government is investing in a COVID-19 recovery plan, now is the time to let Ministers know thebenefits of prioritizing outdoor learning and nature connectionfor our children and youth.
To support the immediate and long-term health of students, please write today to ask the BC government to build outdoor learning spaces at schools across the province,work with the BC Teachers’ Federation to hire additional support staff so that teachers can safely take their classes outside, and provide outdoor education training for staff.
This text is a template for what you could write, but we encourage you to personalize the message and include reasons why you think all children and youth deserve the opportunity to learn outside.
This letter will be sent to Minister Rob Fleming (Ministry of Education) Minister Katrine Conroy (Ministry of Child and Family Development), Minister Adrian Dix (Ministry of Health) and your local MLA.