Bay Weekly at Sea
Dear Bay Weekly:
We found Maureen Miller’s article about us online [The Schooner Mystic: Vol. xv, No. 41: Oct. 11], and were able to see it including photos. We could only download the text, but will get the paper tomorrow when we return to Baltimore. Congratulations on a wonderful job! Here’s a photo of First Mate JoAnna Josie reading the article out loud to the crew.
Sue and George Holloway, Amy Blumberg and the Mystic Crew
Why I Support No Child Left Inside
Dear Bay Weekly:
My D.C. Schools Greener Schools-Cleaner Water program promotes students’ connection with their local watersheds. We usually set up a habitat-improvement project at each school that’s won a grant to make the changes happen. Results have not been bad, but so much more work needs to be done in this region, in spite of having the premier groups like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Potomac Conservancy, Audubon, Izaak Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund and more, which are all here selling their green ideas.
Very little seems to land on the kids, however, and that leaves me wondering how we make this all work more efficiently.
Back in 2000, D.C. regional leadership the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Chesapeake Executive Council including the governors of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania; the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the federal EPA Bay Program head endorsed the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. The Experience is meant to provide every watershed student with an outdoor, hands-on lesson in environmental quality before graduation from high school. It sounded great on paper, but most of the jurisdictions have become mired down with the No Child Left behind Act [which aims to raise math and reading scores of all students on national tests].
Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes has introduced a new law that calls for more Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences, but with more teeth than that endorsed by the Chesapeake Bay Commission. No Child Left Inside asks that we educate our students so they will have an understanding of how the earth operates.
Also, within the 1,000 pages of the No Child Left Behind Act are 13 pages of language from our No Child Left Inside Act of 2007, introduced by Sarbanes. It asks for $100 million per year and for other key provisions that would help ensure that students graduate environmentally literate. While the fight has just begun, we have scored a major coup in getting environmental education recognized by No Child Left Behind.
In my daily world, I visit at least three schools a week and interact with teachers and students. I get the feeling that much of their daily life is anything but meaningful.
Albert ‘Abby’ Ybarra, North Beach