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For Immediate Release

New international group forms to address an increasingly sedentary and risk averse generation of children disconnected from nature.

Berkeley, California (April 24, 2012) – Organizations working to enrich the lives of children through
outdoor learning and play have a new global school ground network where they can turn for ideas and

Leaders in the school ground movement from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the United
Kingdom, and the United States have formed the nonprofit International School Grounds Alliance
(ISGA) (www.internationalschoolgrounds.org), which brings together a wealth of experience in the fields
of school ground use, design, education and management around the globe. The ISGA invites likeminded organizations and professionals to become members and collaborate to nurture and grow the international movement to help schools make the most of learning and play opportunities on their

“Children around the world, growing up in very different environments and cultural settings, all need
engaging childhood learning and play experiences for healthy development and enjoyment,” says ISGA
co-founder Sharon Danks of Bay Tree Design in California. “The ISGA is not only a resource, but is also a
call to action for teachers, parents, and students to go outside, improve their school grounds and explore
the world first-hand.”

The ISGA believes that school grounds should:

  • ● provide powerful opportunities for hands-on learning
  • ● nurture students' physical, social and emotional development and wellbeing
  • ● reflect and embrace their local ecological, social and cultural context
  • ● embrace risk-taking as an essential component of learning and child development
  • ● be open public spaces, accessible to their communities

The ISGA does this by:

  • ● focusing on the way school grounds are used, designed and managed
  • ● facilitating a dialogue about innovative research, design, education and policy
  • ● fostering partnerships between professionals and organizations across the globe
  • ● organizing international conferences, gatherings and other programs
  • ● advocating for student and school community participation in the design, construction and
  • stewardship of school grounds
  • ● promoting the value of enriched school grounds as uniquely positioned, engaging environments
  • for children

To commemorate the founding of the ISGA, the organization has launched a website
(www.internationalschoolgrounds.org) and just released a brief new inspirational video, entitled Voices
from the International School Grounds Movement, which includes perspectives from leaders in the school
ground movement and inspiring photographs of school grounds around the world.


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