Pushing to every kid in a park
October 1, 2015
On September 1, the White House launched their new Every Kid in a Park initiative. This initiative provides free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more for all 4th grade students in the United States. Every Kid in a Park comes in the lead-up to the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016 in order to inspire a new generation of Americans.
Students who spend time outdoors have been proven to do better in school and academically, physically, and emotionally. Yet, many kids have not stepped inside a park to discover America’s natural wonders.
Over 80% of American families now live in urban areas with low access to parks. Of those, even fewer students in low income areas have the resources to get to parks and enroll in educational activities. In order to make sure that every kid had access, President Obama also committed to $45 million for youth engagement programs and promised to bring 1 million 4th grade students from low income areas to national parks.
At Earth Day Network, we applaud the White House and National Park Service’s commitment to outdoor education for American students. Students need to get outdoors and get educated. This opportunity has opened the doors to many schools, communities, and families to connect with nature.