September 8, 2015
Barbara Dougan, Education Specialist, (508) 255-3421 ext. 0300; email@example.com
Beginning this month, Cape Cod National Seashore is participating in President Obama's Every Kid in a Park program, whose ambitious goal is to bring every fourth grader in the country and their families to a national park or other federal public lands and waters during their 2015-2016 school year. Through this program, fourth graders will be inspired to become the next generation of visitors, supporters, and advocates for our nation's rich heritage and breathtaking landscapes. This initiative between the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation coincides with the centennial year of the National Park Service in 2016. The centerpiece of the initiative is the opportunity for 4th graders to participate in a short on-line activity to receive a voucher, which provides free access for them and their families to these federal lands, including Cape Cod National Seashore, for up to one year.
Superintendent George Price said, "This program is a call to action to get all children to visit and enjoy America's unparalleled outdoor settings. There are numerous studies that show the physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors, and here at the national seashore, children and their families can join many recreational activities in the midst of spectacular scenery and rich history. We hope to show that time spend outdoors can compete successfully with screen time."
Fourth grade students and 10 year old homeschooled students can obtain a free entrance voucher to the national seashore and other federal public lands by visiting www.everykidinapark.gov, completing an activity, then downloading and printing a personalized voucher. The voucher is free and covers entrance and standard amenity fees for the student, siblings under age 16, and up to 3 adults in the same car at all federal lands and waters beginning September 1 and ending August 31, 2016. The voucher does not cover expanded fees for camping, special tours, permits, and boating. At Cape Cod National Seashore, the voucher will provide free access to the six national seashore beaches: Coast Guard and Nauset Light in Eastham;Marconi Beach in Wellfleet;Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro;and Herring Cove and Race Point in Provincetown. The park will accept the paper voucher at beach entrance stations, and optionally, 4th grade students may bring their paper voucher to one of the park visitor centers and exchange it for a uniquely designed credit card-sized plastic pass.
Fourth grade was selected because many students at this level are studying U.S. history, and it is a formative age for making connections to nature. In addition to the Every Kid in a Park initiative, national seashore rangers will visit classrooms on the Outer Cape area this fall for curriculum-based program on many topics related to national seashore resources and themes, including erosion for 4th graders. These in-class lessons are followed by field trips to seashore sites, including beaches, salt marshes, and historic buildings and landscapes. This education program that serves elementary through high school students has been ongoing for many years as part of the National Park Service Parks as Classrooms program. Several students over the years have gone on to college studies and careers in science and history as a result of multiple visits to the national seashore with rangers. Eastham Elementary School teacher Maggie Brown said, "Students will observe erosion right in front of them, with every wave crashing onto the beach. The experience will be something they can write about in detail and will always remember."
For more information about the Every Kid in a Park program and obtaining a pass, visit www.everykidinapark.gov.
For more information about programs at Cape Cod National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/caco.