Fourth-graders are officially the coolest kids in school now that the National Parks Service announced that it will continue its popular “Every Kid In A Park” Program, allowing fourth graders and their families free admission to public lands. By targeting fourth graders, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy our national parks by the time he or she is eleven years old.
The program was developed based on research showing that children ages nine to eleven are at a developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. At this stage, they are receptive to new ideas and most likely to hold positive attitudes towards nature and the environment.
The program gives fourth grade students and their families free admission to all national parks. So if you have a fourth grader in your family, plan a trip for the 2017-2018 school year. The pass admits a fourth grader and any accompanying passengers in your car in parks that charge a fee for each vehicle. In parks that charge per person, the pass is good for or a fourth grader and up to three adults. The pass does not cover fees for camping, boating, parking, special tours and certain other in-park activities.
The year of free access aligns with the school year — Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018. The passes can be requested and printed online. As the mother of a fourth grader myself, my family loves the program and have already made trips to Alcatraz and Yosemite.
Using the "Every Kid in a Park" program is easy.
Step 1: Get the pass. G. Get and print fourth-grade passes to our national lands and waters. Fourth grade teachers can also print passes for each of their students.
Step 2: Plan a trip. With input from their parent or guardian, fourth-graders plan a fun place to visit.
Step 3: Hit the road.
I love this program and spending time outdoors with my kids!
My 4th Grader in Yosemite!