National Wildlife Federation, 'Where the Wild Things Are' team up for campaign launch

Reston - The National Wildlife Federation has teamed with the upcoming feature film "Where the Wild Things Are," to launch Be Out There, a national campaign to get families and kids to spend daily time outdoors for their health, happiness and well-being.

Directed by Spike Jonze and based on Maurice Sendak's classic book, "Where the Wild Things Are" is an adventure for every generation. It is the story of a young boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to the island of the Wild Things. As an education partner for the film, the National Wildlife Federation shows kids how they can escape into nature and learn about the wild things wherever they live.

Be Out There is a National Wildlife Federation initiative to give back to American children something they don't even know they've lost: connection to the natural world. Time outside improves children's physical, mental and emotional health, as well as classroom performance.

Be Out There engages American families and communities, educators and health care practitioners, corporate leaders and policy makers in helping to raise happier, healthier kids with a life-long appreciation of nature.

"Childhood used to be synonymous with skipping stones and climbing trees," said National Wildlife Federation Vice President for Education and Training Kevin Coyle. "Today's kids spend twice as much time indoors as their parents did, missing out on the simple pleasures and lasting mental and physical health benefits of daily outdoor time. Playing outside brings families closer through time spent together in green spaces, and allows parents to see their own fun outdoor memories reflected in their children's eyes. It strengthens creativity and focus, decreases aggression, and has been shown to encourage future stewardship over the environment."

With a wealth of resources to offer, the National Wildlife Federation wants to inspire kids to view the outdoors as their favorite play space, a space where it's OK to just be - free to imagine, discover, and daydream.

Children, parents, and teachers can explore ideas for wild outdoor fun at www.BeOutThere.org; online visitors can download National Wildlife Federation "Where The Wild Things Are" poster and activity guides including fun ways to build a fort just like wild things do, or developing ways to find amazing wild creatures right in their neighborhoods. Kids can find out how to be part of National Wild Rumpus Day, and learn how to join the Be Out There movement to connect kids with nature at home, in school, and in their community.

"Warner Bros. is pleased to partner with the National Wildlife Federation and the Be Out There campaign in their effort to help kids connect with nature in their neighborhoods, schools and communities," said Nicole Sedita, Warner Bros. Vice President for National Promotions. "Discovering the natural world while playing outdoors is a great way for kids to exercise not only their bodies but their creativity and curiosity."

The National Wildlife Federation is the nation's largest conservation organization, publisher of award-winning children's magazines "Ranger Rick," "Your Big Backyard" and "Wild Animal Baby." The National Wildlife Federation educates and motivates more than five million members, partners, affiliates and supporters to seek solutions to reduce global warming, protect and restore wildlife habitat, and connect people of all ages with nature. For more information, visit www.nwf.org.