No Child Left Inside Program
State Parks' 'No Child Left Inside' grants help grow healthy, happy, successful kids
Are you a teacher? Do you run a community after-school program? Are you working with youth in a non-profit, tribal or other organization? Would you like to help children be healthier, happier and more successful—both in school and in life?
Research shows that getting kids outdoors can vastly improve their lives.
State Parks can help! In 2017, the Legislature allocated and additional $1.5 million to be used for grants with $500,000 awarded to organizations that have at least one veteran on staff who will be assigned primarily with implementation of the grant.
Our "No Child Left Inside" grant program is especially geared to fund activities that benefit:
- Students at risk of failing or dropping out of school;
- Under-represented learners;
- Children facing social, behavior, economic and health barriers.
These grants are managed and administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).
Nature Deficit Disorder
Children today have less contact with nature than ever before. Researchers have connected this with a high incidence of childhood stress, obesity and disengagement some have termed "nature deficit disorder." Outdoor education programs involving interaction with nature counteract this condition, enhancing children's self-esteem, health, academic performance, personal responsibility and community involvement.
Resurrecting an earlier pilot project
In 2008, State Parks piloted "No Child Left Inside" and awarded 26 grants to private non-profit, public agencies and schools and community-based organizations. These organizations used the grant funds to provide 935 outings to more than 20,000 students across the state. Read our summary report (PDF).
The pilot program ended during the recession when funding was no longer available.
In 2015, State Parks requested and received funds from the Legislature to reinvigorate the program.
Getting kids outdoors – a nationwide initiative
Through 'No Child Left Inside' and interpretive programs in parks, Washington State Parks supports the efforts and spirit of the National Park Foundation's "Every Kid in a Park" initiative. State Parks also encourages participation in the nationwide "Find Your Park" program, celebrating national parks.