COLUMN | Breath of Fresh Air conference exactly what it sounds like – Pelham Today

Oct 12, 2023

Experiencing nature is good for kids’ mental health, experts say.

Last week, my school board coworkers and I were sent to the nation’s capital for a truly unique experience at the 2023 Breath of Fresh Air conference. The subject material we discussed, dissected and distributed was surprisingly beyond the reaches of my school board job as an outdoor educator — which is why this week’s article is about what we learned, and how it applies to society as a whole. I sincerely hope that every reader of every age will find this interesting.

Initially, I think my coworkers and I had visions of passionate educators discussing how children played with blocks in the forest, which may have seemed like a stretch to have nearly 300 attendees from around the country to tune in on. We were pleasantly mistaken.

Instead, we found ourselves in seminars and breakout sessions involving the natural environment, politics, children, mental health, Indigenous voices and policy all braided into one. Like an ecosystem, all of these topics are intertwined in ways we sometimes don’t acknowledge, and can’t afford to ignore.

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