Dallas, November, 2010 – Studies show that between 3-4 million children in the United States witness domestic violence in their homes every year. According to Mary Kay’s second annual “Truth About Abuse Survey,” 75 percent of domestic violence shelters are seeing an increase in women with children seeking assistance from abuse. With these alarming statistics and the increased need for assistance, many domestic violence shelters are struggling to continue to provide services to those seeking help – including programs for children. Because of this increased need, Mary Kay is partnering with women’s domestic violence shelters across the United States to offer a unique and calming solution to help children during the healing process.
 
 
The Mary Kay FoundationSM, through the support of Mary Kay Inc., is funding a total of nine Nature Explore Classrooms at women’s shelters as a part of the organization’s commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness. Nature Explore Classrooms are outdoor learning spaces designed to include nature in the daily lives and learning of children. Research shows that nature buffers the impact of life stress on children and helps them deal with adversity. It also helps reduce or eliminate anti-social behavior such as violence, bullying and vandalism – all of which are common in children who have witnessed abuse.
 
 
“Nature Explore Classrooms are traditionally constructed in areas children can normally access including schools, parks and child care centers. However, children who are currently residing at a women’s shelter with their mothers rarely have access to these locations because of the precarious nature of protecting a mother and a child from the potential abuser. Bringing these outdoor environments to domestic violence shelters provides these children with yet another powerful tool to help them deal with the horrendous abuse they may have witnessed,” said Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. vice president and board member for The Mary Kay FoundationSM. “Children who are engaged with nature and active are far more likely to exhibit positive behavior and exhibit stronger social skills, all of which are critical for children who have witnessed domestic violence abuse.”
 
 
Along with the outdoor area, each Nature Explore Classroom includes a multi-faceted curriculum with details on how to fully maximize the educational opportunities and healing effects of the outdoor environment. Mary Kay Inc., The Mary Kay FoundationSM and the Arbor Day Foundation partnered with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation to build the Nature Explore Classrooms. To date, Mary Kay has built Nature Explore Classrooms in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Teaneck, NJ, and Sacramento, Calif., with plans underway to build an additional Nature Explore Classroom in Denver.
 
 
About Mary Kay
Mary Kay is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics. In 2009, Mary Kay achieved $2.5 billion in wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay® products are sold in more than 35 markets around the world, and the global Mary Kay independent sales force exceeds 2 million. To learn more about Mary Kay, log on to www.marykay.com or call 1-800-MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).
 
 
About The Mary Kay FoundationSM
The Mary Kay FoundationSM was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $25 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $14 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM, log on to www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).