Chatham University

October 2011
The Rachel Carson Forum:

Creating Healthy Places to Live Learn and Play

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear–eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe–inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. –Rachel Carson

On October 22, 2011, Chatham University hosted the Rachel Carson Forum: Creating Healthy Places to Live, Learn and Play for 76 providers of early learning, teachers, administrators students and general public. The half day event featured three national speakers addressing ways to make learning spaces safe, healthy and fun.

This Conference was organized by a core planning team including the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, Women for a Healthy Environment, PA KEYS, and Sense of Place Learning, LLC. We formed a representative Planning Committee to help identify and present a full array of issues relevant to the education of young children. The purpose of this conference was to improve the culture of environmental awareness and practice for all who have a concern for the health and development of our children, especially providers of early learning. We are addressing the needs of the most vulnerable ones in our society – our young children. Providing a safe, healthy and fun environment for young children helps to assure their development so all may reach their best potential, mentally and physically.

Parents, community members, school officials as well as teachers will have better understanding of how easy it can be to provide a safe and healthy environment for young minds and bodies to grow in. We hope it also shows that safe and healthy actions can be cost effective and fun, too!

The challenges of maintaining high quality standards for protecting the environment require an informed and engaged partnership across many sectors in the community. The health and welfare of young children is a responsibility we all share. For ways to be involved in this issue and for further information contact Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D., Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at (412) 365-2702 or pdemarco@chatham.edu