On Thursday, Feb. 19 President Obama announced the launch of the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative. This initiative will not only grant admission for all fourth graders in the 2015-2016 school year to National Parks across the United States, but will also provide resources, grants and education materials for families and schools. The initiative aims to increase the involvement of children in the outdoors at an influential age, and provide them with knowledge to create a sustainable connection to nature through adulthood.
Public lands across the United States are areas for activity, learning, and enrichment. However, studies now find that children are spending more time indoors using electronic media. Obama’s initiative hopes reduce the hours of electronic media use, as well as provide children with connections to programs and services in National Parks that they will enjoy.
What does this mean for you? Starting in September, Every fourth-grader in the United States will receive a pass for admission to all National Parks throughout the United States. Schools and families will receive educational materials, providing knowledge of parks and resources in their area. Transportation will also be provided to support schools with the most need, allowing all children equal access to National Parks.
This initiative is not only a time to expose children to National Parks, but to parks all across the United States. Play catch on a Saturday afternoon, participate in an athletic camp or attend an event hosted by your local park. There are an abundance of ways for schools and families to connect children to the outdoors and create a lasting connection in their local area. Do not only wait until September to connect your children with the outdoors, encourage them to participate in outdoor activities and get involved with their local park today. As we say here at gostrive, every day is a great day to go play.
For more information about the initiative, please visit www.whitehouse.gov today.
-Rachel Tripp, gostrive team member