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The disappearance of play and disconnect from nature

Page history last edited by Deanne Bednar 10 years, 4 months ago



Sierra Club Southeast Michigan Group Meeting, April 2

"The Disappearance of Play & the Disconnect from Nature in Children's Lives"

by Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Free play in the natural world, which the baby-boomer generation and their parents took for granted, is something that many children today do not know. Sprawl, congestion and endless suburban development across America have moved children further & further into isolation. The "average home range" for suburban children has shrunk from a radius of one mile to 550 yards in two decades. A mere 10 percent walk or ride bicycles to school, and increasingly the rest are driven to school, furthering the isolation. Add to this the parental pressure to succeed, kids''overscheduled lives, a media-driven fear of strangers, and a soaring divorce rate, and experts see serious potential for disaster. Dr. Goodenough, a scholar in the emerging field of children''s studies, has noted that time outside school is increasingly filled with adult-organized activities and indoor electronic screen time. Children are less and less able to organize their own play or discover their own secret spaces in the woods, fields, parks and other semi-wild play spaces. Please join us for a though-provoking evening of discussion as we explore the subject of "nature deficit disorder".

The Southeast MI Group (SEMG) meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Northwest Unitarian-Universalist Church, 23925 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI. The church is located along the southbound US10 service drive between 9 & 10 Mile. Our meetings begin with a potluck dinner from 6-7pm followed by a brief local club update from7-730pm. The featured programs listed below begin at 730pm. ***Plz note the time changes!*** All are welcome, members and non-members alike, so please consider bringing a friend! For more info, contact Carol Izant at (248)352-6137 or cogknot@yahoo.com. For complete coverage of SEMG activities, check out our website@www.michigan.sierraclub.org/semg

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