It’s been a very cold week in North Carolina, and many families are likely going a bit stir crazy now that school has been out for nearly a week in most locales thanks to an ice storm and record-breaking cold weather.
So, you might be thinking: when can we get the kids to the park?!
President Obama also had that thought on his mind when he launched his “Let’s Get Every Kid in a Park” initiative yesterday in Chicago.
The program offers the nation’s fourth grade students and their families free admission to any National Park as well as other federal lands and waters for a year, beginning with the start of the 2015-16 school year.
In the lead up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative is a call to action to get all children to visit and enjoy America’s unparalleled outdoors. Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens instead of outside. A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that young people now devote an average of more than seven hours a day to electronic media use, or about 53 hours a week – more than a full time job.
America’s public lands and waters offer space to get outside and get active, and are living classrooms that provide opportunities to build critical skills through hands-on activities. To inspire the next generation to discover all that America’s public lands and waters have to offer, the Obama Administration will provide all 4th grade students and their families free admission to all National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year, starting with the 2015-2016 school year.
Something to look forward to as we huddle together, hoping the mercury climbs high enough to get our heat pumps working again!
For more information on the Let’s Get Every Kid in a Park initiative, click here.