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After the northeastern U.S. had its first major snow of the season, a school superintendent in West Virginia became an instant hero on Wednesday when she declared a “snow day” from virtual school so families could share the joy of the wintery weather together. She said a snow day is “a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life.” Indeed, studies show that spending time in nature is not just fun — it actually improves cognitive skills in children, as well as providing long-term physical and sociological benefits.
But for some kids, it is not as easy as it sounds to get outdoors in winter — because they lack adequate clothing to stay safe and warm when the temperature goes down or because it has snowed. Waterproof and warm coats, mittens, and boots are essential but some kids may not have access to these basic items. New America Foundation, in a blog this week suggested that we can all help kids in need have access to nature by donating gently used coats and other winter weather clothing, or giving to organizations that provide them to kids in need. Especially now, with so many families struggling, the need for coats, mittens, and boots is greater than ever. If you are looking for a place to donate, click here. A wonderful organization called One Warm Coat can help you find a location near you to donate and/or help you organize a coat drive in your neighborhood so that all kids have the chance to throw snowball and make a snowman, or lie in the snow to make a snow angel.
H/T to Friend of the Planet Sarah W for reminding us that there are many barriers to enjoying nature for kids in need.
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