Trees Can Help Sixth Graders Do Better Academically, New Study Says

Many studies have found the importance of nature in schools for young children and older learners, but few studied the pre-teen ages. Now a new study has found nature — and trees specifically — can make a huge difference in sixth-graders’ learning.

Ming Kuo, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois and his co-authors, compared trees and other vegetation at different distances from schools in suburban, urban and rural communities in Washington state.

“We wanted to offer concrete guidance to landscape architects, principals, and school boards interested in putting the greenness-achievement link to work, giving them clues as to what should be planted and where,” co-author Samantha Klein says.

Trees came out to be the most beneficial of the vegetation they tested.

“I think school boards have always been faced with distributing very limited funds, especially in the poorest areas,” says Kuo. “They might think that, with all the other pressing needs for funding, school landscaping is the least of their concerns. Little do they suspect that a treeless schoolyard may actually be contributing to poor school performance.”

Kuo says the need for trees is even more vital right now as schools consider the second half of the school year due to COVID-19.

“One of the big benefits of greenery, and one of the reasons we think it affects academic achievement, is it’s a really potent stress reliever,” Kuo says.


Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram


This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s January/February 2021 issue

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

Some Youth Sports Teams Need Work on COVID Safety Guidelines

A new poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital shows parents believe a majority of youth sports teams are on top of keeping kids safe.

Summer Camp Fun: Your 2021 List

Brought to you by Chicago Parent advertisers.

13 Books to Get Kids Excited About Math

They all equate to learning!

Cantigny Park Provides Enhanced Glasses for Colorblind Visitors

The enhanced glasses help guests with red-green colorblindness see the colors of the grounds with a greater range of variety.


- Advertisement -