• Visitor during the evening tour of Alcatraz gaze into the many cells that line up the corridor known as

    Alcatraz Island


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Alcatraz Community Access Programs

Ranger with youth group in the Alcatraz cellhouse
Although Alcatraz is best known for its notoriety during the penitentiary era, it has a rich historical tapestry including the American Indian Occupation and the Civil War-era military history. Themes such as the meaning of freedom, incarceration, justice, or racial segregation of its prisoners may all appeal to appeal to a wide, diverse audience.

Due to the cost of Alcatraz tickets, many groups who would greatly benefit from an Alcatraz visit find it economically unavailable. Affordable access is one of the major barriers to visiting the island. In response to this need, the National Park Service has created several successful mechanisms to provide free or reduced price tickets to both schools and community groups.

1. CATS: Approximately 10,000 tickets annually are provided to community organizations through the Community Access Ticket Service. Ticket requests must be made directly to CATS if you meet the selection criteria. http://www.communitytickets.org/

2. Alcatraz Uncovered: This inquiry based program is designed for San Francisco schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches. The program consists of pre-site activities, classroom presentations by National Park representatives, the field program, and post-site activities. For more information about this program see http://www.nps.gov/goga/forteachers/index.htm.

3. Alcatraz School Access: Tickets are also available to public schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches. Tickets are available for visits between November and March excluding holidays. Submit a request or see more information on this new program. .

4. Family Junior Ranger Days: Every fall two Junior Ranger days are selected and up to 500 free tickets will be available for youth between 5-12 years old. . More information on the next Junior Ranger Day is now available.

5. Crissy Field Center Program: NPS has developed a long-standing relationship with Crissy Field Center to engage youth in park activities. The Center provides education and interpretation opportunities to a wide array of school and community groups. NPS provides tickets to Crissy Field Center's Community Group Programs for distribution to the community. Tickets are available from mid-March to mid-October (Thurs-Mon) to schools and community organizations where 60% of youth receive free or reduced lunch or 60% of students receive scholarships. For more information about these programs, please contact May Tran, Community Services Coordinator, at mtran@parksconservancy.org

6. Native American Overnight Program. Every year Alcatraz hosts two overnights for Native American youth. The following morning they attend International Indian Treaty Council's annual Sunrise Ceremonies, which take place on Columbus (Indigenous Peoples) Day and Thanksgiving. Applications are currently being accepted for Thanksgiving 2013.

Did You Know?

Hopi prisoners on Alcatraz in 1895.

In 1895 19 members of the Hopi Tribe were imprisoned by the U.S. Army on Alcatraz Island for resisting policies to "Americanize" their children. Today Hopi children continue to have the opportunity to learn their traditions and language.