Gov. Markell announces launch of Environmental Literacy Plan
DOVER (Oct. 5, 2015) – Governor
Jack Markell announced today the completion of the Delaware Environmental
Literacy Plan (ELP), a major component of his Children in Nature Initiative.
The announcement coincides with the month of October, which he designated in
2014 as Children in Nature Month.
“By implementing experiential education and promoting environmental literacy, we can tap abundant opportunities to use the natural world in providing well-rounded experiences for every child,” said Gov. Markell. “We must support our communities and our schools in creating ways for children to connect with nature, such as by using outdoor classrooms and expanding nature-based activities as part of school lessons and extracurricular programs.”
The ELP was created by the Environmental Literacy Committee of Delaware’s Children in Nature Coalition (CIN) and was signed by the secretaries of DNREC and the Delaware Department of Education (DOE).
“The Children in Nature Coalition partners have created a comprehensive blueprint for getting Delaware’s children outside and learning about the First State’s unique environment,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “At school, at home, in parks and backyards, we want all children to have the opportunity grow up healthy and strong, enjoy remarkable outdoor experiences and learn about the importance of clean air, clean water and Delaware's native plants, fisheries and wildlife. DNREC, as steward of 100,000 acres of diverse habitat, offers wondrous, safe places to explore, discover and connect children and their families with each other and the environment.”
“The ELP is significant because it will give children in Delaware and their teachers a new tool designed to increase their understanding of nature and the environmental sciences, improve their engagement and achievement in the sciences and lead to exciting careers in the sciences and related fields in the 21st century,” said Tonyea Mead, science education associate with the Delaware Department of Education and co-chair of the Environmental Literacy Committee.
“We are so fortunate that children in Delaware live in a state where environmental literacy is valued,” said CIN partner and Environmental Literacy Committee co-chair Helen Fischel of the Delaware Nature Society. “With the implementation of this plan, children will have the aptitude to deal with complex environmental challenges of the future.”