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Conditions reported to be so bad, 300 migrant children are moved from a Texas detention center. Also on our Tuesday rundown: Sen. Susan Collins gets a challenge from Maine's House Speaker. Plus, a bill in Congress points to the need for summer meals.

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“Great Outdoors” Could Be Next Classroom for Wisconsin Kids

October 31, 2007

Stevens Point, WI – Wisconsin kids may get to spend a little more time in a new classroom -- the great outdoors. A provision of the "No Child Left Behind" law, now up for renewal in Congress, includes grants to schools for environmental education and nature appreciation programs.

A coalition of more than 100 environmental, education, and public health groups has dubbed the plan, "No Child Left Inside." Environmental Education Professor Richard Wilke of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point says outdoor activities are more than just fun and games; they're a proven way to teach kids, especially in areas like the sciences.

"It increases students' motivation for learning and, in fact, environment as a context for learning other subjects has been shown to improve standardized test scores."

He says it's also important that Wisconsin students have greater knowledge of the environment, which will allow them to make smarter decisions in the future about global warming and other environmental challenges.

"It's been squeezed out of the curriculum in Wisconsin, and it hasn't had as much emphasis as it had prior to, say, the last decade or so. It is critically important for future citizens to have an understanding of many environmental issues that they're going be confronted with."

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WI