CARMEL, Ind., March 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on electronic devices, depriving themselves of the emotional and physical benefits that come from bonding with nature. For this reason, Wild Birds Unlimited, the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores, and the National Audubon Society, one of the nation's leading conservation organizations, are teaming up to offer scholarships for children to attend a week of summer camp. Wild Birds Unlimited and Audubon share a belief that when children spend quality time outside, it can have a lasting, positive impact on their personal lives and the future of our great natural heritage.
The Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature for Kids initiative has granted $260,000 to the National Audubon Society for scholarships since 2007, helping more than 1,400 kids attend summer camp. With this year's grant, at least 125 underserved children will have the opportunity to connect with nature and learn more about their environment. Parents and caregivers should apply now to give their children the opportunity to attend one of these camps.
"Today's youth spend less time outside than any previous generation," said Jim Carpenter, CEO and Founder of Wild Birds Unlimited. "With these scholarships, we are helping underserved children spend part of their summer having fun by exploring nature."
Wild Birds Unlimited began partnering with Audubon in 2007 when the idea to offer camp scholarships came from a book written by Richard Louv entitled, Last Child in the Woods. In this book, Louv explains the Nature-Deficit Disorder™ among our nation's all too wired youth.
"What I liked about Audubon Camp is that it feels so good to be outside and play in the dirt," said Xavier who attended the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm camp last year. "It was a chance to learn new things and meet new people. On the last day, we even got to feed a Red-tailed Hawk."
Scholarship eligibility is determined by each Audubon Center. For more information about general registration, camp programs and scholarships, visit the Audubon website (http://education.audubon.org/programs/audubon-camps).
ABOUT WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 275 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events. Visit our Web site and shop online at www.wbu.com. To learn how you can open your own Wild Birds Unlimited, visit www.wbufranchise.com.
ABOUT NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engage millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org.
CONTACT: Media Contact: Holly Kleese, Fishman Public Relations (847) 945-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.;National Audubon Society