20,000 signatures reached
To: Toys R Us CEO Antonio Urcelay
Tell Toys R Us: Pull the anti-environmental education ad
Stop attacking environmental education. Take down your TV commercial that portrays spending time outdoors as a boring activity that children do not enjoy.
Why is this important?
As a parent, environmental educator, founder of the family nature club RI Families in Nature, and former classroom teacher, I have long recognized how much better children behave, learn, eat, and sleep when they spend time outside. Perhaps you have noticed the same.
In a recent ad by Toys R Us, a group of kids are put on a bus for a fictional "Meet the Trees Foundation" field trip. The bus ride seems purposely boring, until the leader announces that they are actually going on a shopping spree in Toys R Us. This not only makes a total mockery of environmental education, but sends the message that kids should value consumerism over education and connecting with the natural world.
Just like healthy food and a good night’s sleep, spending time in nature is essential to our health and wellbeing. There is a growing body of research showing the connection between interaction with the natural world and the physical, mental, academic, and emotional health of both children and adults. Research studies show that children who regularly play and learn outside are healthier, happier, and smarter than those who do not. See http://www.childrenandnature.org/research/ for more information.
Environmental education (EE) has been proven to have significant value, especially to those children who do not have as many opportunities to get outside in their urban communities. Research shows that EE increases creativity, curiosity, and physical activity while providing an engaging platform for science and math understanding, civic engagement, and more. See http://eelinked.naaee.net/n/eeresearch for more information.