Volunteer educators needed to help children experience nature

By Becky Gillette

Special to The SUN

Back in the day, weekends and vacations for school-aged children meant long days playing outside — riding bikes, jumping in puddles, wading in a creek or building a fort in the woods.

According to a 2010 Henry J. Kaiser Foundation report, today’s kids do less and less of that: on average, Americans under 18 spend 90 percent of their time indoors and five to 15 hours each day looking at electronic screens.

Since 2007, Audubon Rockies has trained more than 60 adults to help combat the screen-centered lifestyle of our local youth through Four Mile Ranch Environmental Education, where volunteer educators lead children through easy hikes and simple activities that ignite enthusiasm and foster appreciation for the natural world.

Each year, we recruit and train as many volunteers as we can to help lead standards-based science programs for every student at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, plus dozens of other children from around the region.

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