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Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Hosts Author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 Child Health News J E 4
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Foundation Commits $200,000 to Re-Connect Kids with Outdoors

ATLANTA, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series will host best-selling author Richard Louv for a program on February 16, 2010, focusing on the importance of re-connecting children with the outdoors.

Author of Last Child in the Woods, Louv is the recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal. His book identified a phenomenon many knew existed but couldn't quite articulate - the "nature-deficit disorder" - and sparked a movement around the disconnection between children and nature. The latest edition of the book includes a "field guide" with 100 actions individuals and communities can take.

Louv is the co-founder and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, which supports people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.

The Speaker Series event is sold out but will be available via live webcast beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Click here for information on the webcast (or go to http://blankfoundation.org/news/webcast.html. No registration is needed to view the webcast.)

"Better than anyone, Richard Louv explains the magic that occurs when children engage with nature, including the health benefits, the learning and the spiritual development," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "Spending time in safe, outdoor spaces is a necessary ingredient to a robust life."

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and two of its affiliated funds, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund, have invested more than $40 million to increase access to great outdoor spaces in the City of Atlanta, to get kids more engaged in physical activity across Georgia, and to promote youth development through connections with the natural environment in Montana.

For 2010, the Blank Family Foundation and its affiliated funds are committing up to $200,000 for new grant investments that help more children engage with the outdoors. As part of this effort, concurrent with the Richard Louv Speaker Series event the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation is announcing the following grants:

Piedmont Park Conservancy, Atlanta, GA

$2,500 to provide students from Title I schools with at least 20 scholarships to Piedmont Park's 2010 summer day camp, EnviroVentures, which focuses on natural experiences within the park.

Park Pride, Atlanta, GA

$12,000 to provide neighborhood parks groups in Atlanta with equipment and resources to engage children in outdoor activities, including bird watching and astronomy, in city parks.

"Parks are an inexpensive, easy and fun tool for promoting health and strengthening the connections kids have to the outdoors," said George Dusenbury, executive director of Park Pride. "We have more than 60 'Friends of the Park Group' partners that will use this new lending library of equipment to engage kids in their community park and the natural world."

In addition to Piedmont Park Conservancy and Park Pride, several organizations are joining the Foundation's Feb. 16, 2010, Speaker Series event to promote outdoor opportunities for kids. Partner organizations include Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics, Mothers & Others for Clean Air, the Georgia Conservancy, the Atlanta Taskforce on Play, Outward Bound, the National Football League's Play 60 initiative, and Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, home to the Get Outdoors Georgia campaign.

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series:

By convening individuals around issues, innovations and ideas that will shape the quality of life for families in Atlanta and beyond, the Blank Family Foundation aspires to spur civic action and citizen involvement for positive change in people's lives. Recent Speaker Series programs have featured New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera, architect William McDonough and CBS News correspondent Jeff Greenfield. Visit the Foundation's web site for more information on the Speaker Series. (www.BlankFoundation.org)

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:

The Foundation promotes positive change in people's lives and helps them build and enhance the communities in which they live. The Foundation has an especially strong interest in the creation of and access to inspiring outdoor spaces and in the physical fitness of children. In addition to its direct grant making, the Family Foundation supports the work of The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund.

SOURCE The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
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