If you have a fourth-grader in the house, you can get free access to national parks every day through Aug. 31.
If you are planning a spring or summer vacation — and you have a fourth-grader in the house — the federal government has a great freebie for you.
The government’s Every Kid in a Park program allows every family with a fourth-grader to get free access to hundreds of parks, lands and waters for a year. The program began last fall and expires on Aug. 31.
Fourth-graders need to print out a pass and bring it with them to gain free admission. Each pass has its own code that grants free access to fourth-graders and their families, up to three adults. Or, if you are visiting a drive-in park, the pass will admit one vehicle.
Former President Barack Obama initiated the program to help give kids a personal connection to the environment, getting them outdoors and away from computer screens to discover the nation’s wildlife, resources and history. According to a program brochure:
Research shows that children ages 9 to 11 are at a unique 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.
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