Local, Australian news services have become the lowest of the low, in terms of providing factual, real news. There is rarely anything worth mentioning as it is all cheap and easy daily details on rape, murder and political unrest, at home and overseas. Where has intelligent journalism gone?
I know there are terrible things happening in the world but seeing children covered in blood in Syria or a man being taken to court for rape or one politician slinging off at another is not telling me anything NEW and doesn’t NEWS mean something new? For every bad piece of news, they should show one of the millions of people who are trying to do something about it, thereby adding hope and education to the very poor presentations.
I get my news elsewhere. One place is Daily Good which inspires me to get out and do more to change the way things are and puts me in touch with so much NEWS that is really happening, in every corner of the world where people are endeavouring to overcome the horror of what our local news keeps telling us is there.
Like with Jamie Oliver and his passion for school lunches and children knowing and growing food so they can be healthy, there is a link between how children play and how children behave. Creating green spaces for the poorest and most disadvantaged children, often living in big, grey cities, has the chance to stop some of those horrific American shootings we are told about. The excerpt below is from “Daily Good: news that inspires”
….Charlotte, 4, has two 20-minute recess breaks each day. Her teachers wish they could spend more time outside with their young charges, but they have to rotate usage with other teachers, and the playground is also small and somewhat unwelcoming. It's surrounded by eight-foot chain link fencing and features standard-issue swings and monkey bars on blacktop. When she doesn't feel like chasing her friends, Charlotte sits with her back against her school's brick façade and watches cars pass on an adjacent freeway….
….Ivy's preschool recently added an outdoor classroom. Fencing created from natural materials conceals a hidden wonderland divided into intentional learning and play areas. In one part of the classroom, Ivy and her friends can get their hands dirty with "messy materials." Across a mosaic stone path, they can snip samples of organic greens grown in their own raised beds. There are weatherproof marimbas for the musically inclined—and really, aren't all preschoolers musically inclined?—and "tree cookies," rough wooden building blocks, for use in elaborate building projects…..
Creative, hands-on outdoor experiences like those Ivy is exposed to are an essential piece of the child development puzzle. Research reveals that contact with nature may be as important for children as good nutrition and sleep…..Most children have more options for solitary play provided by electronics and child-targeting technologies. This lack of time outdoors contributes to childhood obesity and increased reliance on behaviour-regulating medicines. While many educators recognize these connections, they may not possess the tools or resources they need to actualize nature-based learning in their schools.
“Nature Explore” can help bridge this gap. In outdoor classrooms, children develop a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world. They solve problems, experiment, engage, and explore. Globally, there are already 170 certified Nature Explore Classrooms, with many more underway. Based on field-tested guiding principles, these spaces have been developed for schools, early childhood centers, domestic violence shelters, military bases, parks and museums. While each design is unique, the underlying philosophy remains the same: Connect kids with nature and amazing things happen.
Want to introduce the kids—or educators—in your life to a Nature Explore classroom? Visit www.natureexplore.org for virtual tours of certified classrooms, details on upcoming workshops, an overview of the design consultation process, and other resources that can help you launch a Nature Explore space in your community.