Celebrating Every Kid in a Park

every-kipAs part of President Obama’s historic commitment to protecting our natural treasures and ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to experience our great outdoors, the Every Kid in a Park initiative gives fourth graders and their families free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for a full year. Now in the program’s second year, Every Kid in a Park is connecting hundreds of thousands of youth across the country to the great outdoors. 

Building on this work, today, we are thrilled to announce an inter-agency commitment to continue the program for the next five years and a new virtual reality video featuring the First Lady and Modern Family’s Nolan Gould. 

To read more, Click here.

Kids Who Play More Outdoors May be Less Likely to Have Problems with Peers

peer-problem Kids who spend more time outdoors seem to gain a boost in their peer relations, per a new report from Statistics Canada. In September, the agency released a report on outdoor time, physical activity and sedentary time and health indicators of Canadians aged 7 to 14.

Canadian guidelines suggest that kids between 5 and 17 years old get at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day. Only 9 percent of children do. (The rule of thumb is if you’re able to carry on a conversation easily then you’re not working hard enough.)

Each additional hour spent outdoors was associated with:

  • 7 more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity.
  • 762 more steps.
  • 13 fewer minutes of sedentary time.

Additionally, children reporting more time outdoors were less likely to have peer relationship problems compared with those who spent less time outside, Mark Tremblay of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and his team said in Health Reports.

To read the full article, click here.

Every Kid in a Park Initiative

DF-41The Every Kid in a Park initiative enables every US fourth grader (or age equivalent free-choice learner) and his or her family to have free access to any federal land or water for an entire year (up to August 31, 2016). The Every Kid in a Park initiative aims to encourage valuable opportunities to explore, learn, and play in our national parks, forests, and other federal lands.

Fourth graders were targeted because research show that children ages 9-11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. They are most likely to have positive attitudes towards nature, the environment, and culture, and grow into the next generation of stewards for our natural wonders and historical landmarks.

Beginning September 1, 2015, fourth graders can visit the “Get Your Pass” section of the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov, complete an online activity, and download a personalized paper voucher for print and unlimited use at federal lands and waters locations for one year. The paper voucher also can be exchanged for a more durable, Interagency Annual 4th Grade Pass at certain federal lands or waters sites. The Every Kid in a Park website also offers information and tips for trip planning and how parents can get involved.

Educators will be able to visit a specific area of the website and download and print lesson plan ideas and activities, along with paper vouchers for each of their students. Educators also will find information about the locations of their nearest federal land or water as well as field trip transportation grant opportunities.

The Every Kid in a Park initiative is supported by eight federal agencies:  the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Visit the Every Kid in a Park website to find out more! www.everykidinapark.gov