Environmental education program earns national endorsement

By Pam Bryant

image depicts students studying soil.

Teaching KATE (Kids About The Environment) has been endorsed by the National Forum on Children and Nature as one of 30 creative demonstration projects across the nation that reconnect kids with nature.

More frequently than ever before, children are developing chronic health conditions, including obesity and depression. There is growing evidence that the decline in children’s health is, in part, related to a disconnection from nature and active time outdoors.

“The Forum celebrates these projects for demonstrating how to get kids back outdoors,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, which hosts the Forum. “This is critical for children’s health and for the future of our environment.”

Teaching KATE, developed by the Coalition of Natural Resources and Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute, was endorsed because of its potential for relevance, impact and an ability to be replicated.

Based at Camp Bob Cooper in Summerton, KATE offers a three-day, residential adventure for third- through fifth-grade students. Through nature hikes, collecting expeditions and group challenges, the students experience more core outdoor education than in three weeks of traditional classroom instruction. Endorsed by the South Carolina Department of Education, KATE has reached more than 70,000 students and teachers since 1991.


For more information: Howard Brown, 864-650-4308, wbrown4@clemson.edu; www.clemson.edu/yli/pages/kate.php