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September 10, 2015

4th Graders Now Have Free Access to National Parks

Will Estrada, Director
HSLDA Federal Relations

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

The Department of the Interior has launched a new program called Every Kid in a Park. This program gives a free access pass to any 4th grader (and up to three accompanying adults) for over 2,000 national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. The pass is valid for the 2015–2016 school year, and was created in honor of the National Park Service’s upcoming 100th birthday in 2016.

The goal of Every Kid in a Park is to encourage children to spend more time in the great outdoors and away from their electronic devices by giving them easier access to national parks and historic sites. With 80% of American families living in urban areas, and children now using electronic devices an average of 53 hours a week, this program presents an excellent opportunity for students to enjoy nature and learn more about their country’s history.

Families with 4th graders can make use of Every Kid in the a Park by completing an online adventure diary to get a paper pass, which can be printed and then exchanged at some national parks for a durable plastic pass. Parents can also print their passes online, and can find resources to plan trips as well as more educational materials. The National Park Service has launched a website with learning materials including labs, lessons, and field trip guides. For more information, click here.

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