Senator Jack Reed speaks at the Zoo about the No Child Left Inside Act.

At Roger Williams Park Zoo we don’t just offer environmental education – we advocate for it by working with community partners and supporting legislative action, on both a local and national level. 

Working to Make Sure There’s No Child Left Inside

Since 2007, Roger Williams Park Zoo has been a key player in winning support for the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Act and we’ve spearheaded efforts to get other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to join the national No Child Left Inside Coalition.  Introduced in the Senate by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and in the House by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), the bill seeks to authorize $500 million over five years to help states make environmental education a bigger priority in America's classrooms. The bill would provide federal funding to train teachers to operate model environmental education programs.  It would also provide funding to states that create environmental literacy plans and re-establish the Office of Environmental Education within the U.S. Department of Education to oversee critical environmental education activities.  If passed, the NCLI bill could mean that more schools could take advantage of unique and valuable environmental education resources, like zoos, to provide valuable experiential learning. 

Rhode Island's First Environmental Literacy Plan

Recently, as part of this effort, the Zoo worked with other members of the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association and the Rhode Island Department of Education to shape the future of environmental education curriculum in our state, resulting in the formation of Rhode Island's first Environmental Literacy Plan.  Rhode Island is now one of the first states in the nation to adopt such a plan, making it eligible to receive a portion of the federal funding that is included in the proposed No Child Left Inside (NCLI) bill.