Back to school doesn’t mean students have to spend all day inside. With the Every Kid Outdoors program, fourth grade students (or home-school equivalent) can receive a free annual pass to explore American’s natural and cultural treasures. From family vacations to Yellowstone National Park, rugged hiking in Badlands National Park to secluded waterfall picnics in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Every Kid Outdoors pass has your entrance fee covered
To obtain the free pass, fourth grade students visit the Every Kid Outdoors website, participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The paper voucher may be exchanged for a durable plastic keepsake pass at Scotts Bluff National Monument. The pass or voucher is valid for unlimited use between Sept. 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2020 to correspond to the traditional school year.
Fourth grade educators are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of educational programs and tools associated with the Every Kid Outdoors Program. Educational activities, information and tools in English and Spanish, and the ability to print vouchers for an entire class are all available on the website.
The program focuses on the fourth grade because students are likely still in a single classroom setting and at a unique developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways and they are more receptive to engaging with nature and the environment.
Over 400,000 fourth graders have been reached through this educational program. Since 2015, the program has generated over $5 million in donations to the National Park Foundation (NPF) and other non-profits to provide free transportation and programs for students at hundreds of public lands sites. Research on program participants indicates that, without the free pass, most (73%) would never have visited a federal recreation site and by experiencing these sites with their family or school, student participants are more likely to visit our federal recreation lands and pay the entrance fee throughout the rest of their lives.
The Every Kid Outdoors (and Every Kid in a Park) program is an interagency collaboration between the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.