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A documentary film about childhood education and the outdoors “Mother Nature’s Child” will be shown at the Woods Hole Public Library on Saturday, February 16 at 3 PM. The film will be co-sponsored by the Woods Hole Child Center, a local non-profit, cooperative preschool. The Child Center, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has long been a great proponent of free play in the outdoors .

“Mother Nature’s Child” explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development. In interviews with experts and teachers in the field, this film shows the importance of unstructured time in the outdoors for children from the age of toddlers right on through to adolescents.

The effects of “nature deficit disorder” are now being noted across the country, correlated with epidemics of child obesity, attention disorders, and depression. “Mother Nature’s Child” examines the topics of the need for unstructured time outside, the place of risk-taking in healthy child development, and how play is a form of learning. It also considers why some teachers are resistant to taking students outside, how city kids connect with nature, and what it means to educate the ‘whole’ child.

The director and co-producers started their film-making under the tutelage of noted producer Ken Burns and have carried his excellence in documentaries forward, working on many PBS productions. The film, released in December 2010, runs 57 minutes. It was named “Official Selection of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s capital”.

The film is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Library at 508-548-8961 or visit the website www.woodsholepubliclibrary.org.