Press Release: "Outside for 5" Campaign Urges Educators to Embrace Outdoor Learning


Light blue graphic with illustrations of two blue benches, flowers and leaves in the center. Bold, blue text in the middle states, "Stop. Smell. Learn." The Outside for 5 badge is displayed at the top right corner.



Press Release

Stacie Pierpoint
Director of Communications & Technology

For immediate release

The NAAEE Affiliate Network’s campaign promotes outdoor learning as a simple yet effective solution for enhancing student well-being

Washington, DC, April 4, 2024 – The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Affiliate Network has relaunched a pledge campaign called Outside for 5 encouraging teachers, administrators, nonformal educators, youth development leaders, and parents in the United States to engage students and children in outdoor learning for at least five minutes a day, five days a week, or any meaningful amount of time.

The Outside for 5 campaign was first developed in 2022 in response to the pandemic-related decline in youth mental health and the associated impact on classroom educators who have faced increased levels of burnout. In addition to pandemic-related burnout, many students and teachers are facing difficult issues in their communities related to climate change, social justice, and more. This campaign is focused on engaging communities in outdoor learning as a way to provide a more enriching and healthy learning environment.

“Today’s students are juggling many stressors that affect their mental health and productivity in the classroom,” said Katie Navin, Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. “By incorporating outdoor learning into school curriculum, educators can provide an outlet for students to release complex emotions and stress.”

There is a large and compelling body of evidence-based research that demonstrates the benefits of outdoor learning for mental health and well-being, stress and anxiety reduction, physical health, student engagement, and academic success. Outdoor educational experiences also offer schools an opportunity to ignite learning, which addresses both social and emotional well-being as well as learning loss.

“Our goal with this campaign is to inspire educators to think outside the box when it comes to enhancing the social-emotional wellness of their students, each other, and their entire school community,” said Sarah Bodor, NAAEE’s Director of Policy & Affiliate Relations. “We want kids to get outside and experience the benefits of nature’s classroom.”

The NAAEE Affiliate Network invites school administrators and educators of all grade levels to sign the Outside for 5 pledge online at and commit to spending at least 5 minutes a day outside with their students. Whether that means teaching a classroom lesson outside, studying the local ecosystem, or taking a short walk across the school campus, everyone can benefit from going Outside for 5.

To sign the pledge and learn more about the Outside for 5 campaign, visit


About the NAAEE Affiliate Network

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Affiliate Network supports the many types of educators who teach concepts we all need to understand: how natural systems work, what we must do to interact responsibly with the environment, and how we can protect natural resources for future generations. We are the largest network of environmental educators in North America. Collectively, we inspire educators, schools, and communities to impact conservation, education, social justice, health and wellness, and positive youth development. Find your Affiliate: