Do you have a fourth grader this school year or know someone who does? If so, this year is the perfect time for a trip to visit a national park. As part of the government’s Every Kid Outdoors program, fourth graders and their families can get free access to hundreds of parks for an entire year.
Park entry is free with a pass from the program. The pass is valid for the duration of the fourth grade school year through the following summer (September through August) and it is available for all U.S. fourth graders, including homeschooled and free choice learners. The pass grants access to up to three adults and all kids traveling with the fourth grader.
To get the pass, either a parent or a teacher needs to help the fourth grader navigate the https://everykidoutdoors.gov/ website. There the student will fill in a short fill-in-the-blank story and enter their zip code, after which they will be given a pass that can be printed and used for entry. Note, the pass must be printed out for access.
Fourth grade teachers can ensure their students get passes. The website contains an educator area where fourth grade educators can download an activity and print paper passes for each student.
Debi Dowd, a fourth grade teacher at Cimino Elementary in Valrico, loves the Every Kid Outdoors program and the ease of using its website.
“It’s super easy and engaging to use. I’ve already printed off passes for each kid in my class and the lessons that are offered in a variety of topics, such as Exploring Federal Lands and Waters, Environmental Stewardship, Our Nations Native Peoples and Citizen Science. I love that there is information for both parents and educators,” Dowd said.
Every Kid Outdoors was created so fourth graders and their families could discover the wildlife, resources and history of the United States for free. The program was first launched as Every Kid in a Park in 2015 and has been authorized by Congress through 2026. Detailed information about the passes and an area for exploring parks and sites to visit is available on the Every Kid Outdoors website at https://everykidoutdoors.gov/.