If heading back to school meant heading into the fourth grade for your tykes, then your family has a very awesome perk to enjoy. Every American household can sign up for a free National Parks pass for fourth graders.

America’s National Parks system wants to get more kids and their families outdoors and exploring the protected natural wonders that make our nation so great. Through the Every Kid In a Park initiative each new school year all American fourth graders are invited to sign up for a free National Parks pass.

photo: Kristina Wagner via Unsplash

Parents can sign up their fourth graders for a free pass on the Every Kid In a Park website here. The pass is good for entry into hundreds of National Parks, as well as monuments, across the country for one year, expiring Aug. 31, 2019. The pass covers entry for fourth graders along with any kids under 16 in their family and up to three adults. All you have to do is sign up, print out your pass and bring it along to show to a park ranger or display on your car dashboard.

So why is it fourth graders and not second or first that can snag this awesome perk? According to research, from ages nine to 11 is when kids are really starting to observe the world around them and are more likely to be open to new ideas and connect with nature. This program is repeated every year, so eventually, all American kids have an opportunity to participate.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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