RELEASE: Every Kid in a Park Program Enters Year Two

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449, Virginia.Cramer@sierraclub.org

Every Kid in a Park Program Enters Year Two

Outdoors Alliance for Kids to get tens of thousands of fourth graders outdoors this fall

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids announced its Every Kid in a Park fall program lineup. Just in time for back to school, OAK members are gearing up to host a series of events and programs to connect thousands of fourth graders with their natural and cultural heritage.

The Every Kid in a Park program is designed to encourage all fourth graders to get outdoors. Fourth graders and their parents, teachers and caregivers can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to learn about the initiative, plan a trip and download the fourth grade voucher for free entry to all federal lands. The program also provides transportation funding support for Title 1 schools to reach kids with limited opportunities to experience our public lands, waters and shores.

“OAK is proud to answer President Obama’s call to connect fourth graders across America with the outdoors,” said Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club’s Nearby Nature Director and OAK Co-Founder and Chair. “As our kids head back to school, OAK members are working with schools and teachers across America to get Every Kid in a Park to ensure they have opportunities to play and learn, as they connect with the natural world and each other.”

Announcing OAK’s Every Kid in a Park Back to School Fall Events

September – MayREI is partnering with Outdoor Foundation, Outdoor Industry Association and National Park Trust to ensure every public school fourth grader (over 3,300 kids) in Washington, D.C. has a meaningful national park experience this fall. Additional events will take place over the whole school year.

September – November: Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile Fall Tour, a collaborative of more than 400 organizations, will reach more communities and kids than ever before, visiting New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Jacksonville, Dayton; and Rochester (MN).

September – November: California Outdoor Engagement Coalition is partnering with California 4-H to bring Every Kid in a Park to seven counties throughout the state to prioritize increased Latino engagement. They are also partnering with the National Park Service, Rosie the Riveter Trust, University of California Berkeley and West Contra Costa Unified School District to bring 1,200 fourth graders from Richmond and surrounding cities to the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Homefront National Historic Park.

September – November: National Park Trust, with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and National Park Service, will connect 6,600 Title 1 fourth graders from Ventura County, CA to the Channel Islands Visitors Center. Additionally, in partnership with National Park Service and National Park Foundation, National Park Trust will ensure 5,000 fourth graders from 50 schools across the country have a national park experience.

September – November: Conservation Legacy’s La Plazita Institute’s Ancestral Lands’ Barrio Youth Corps is facilitating urban-agricultural and outdoor educational experiences for fourth graders in collaboration with Albuquerque Public Schools and Albuquerque Open-Spaces in New Mexico.

September 2: In Los Angeles, Sierra Club, the I Have A Dream Foundation and the US Forest Service are hosting 50 students from Boyle Heights in the San Gabriel Mountains. Another outing on October 8th will connect an additional 50 fourth graders to the mountains from the City of El Monte with several partners including Bike SGV, Day One, and San Gabriel Mountains Forever.

September 13: In Washington, DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation and National Park Trust will work with students to conduct an in-depth examination of the condition of the statues in Lafayette Park.

September 16: National Park Trust and the National Park Service will bring 34 fourth graders from Vallejo, California to Muir Woods.

September 23-24: National Park Trust and the U.S. Forest Service will bring 40 fourth graders from D.C.’s Creative Minds Public Charter School and Inspired Teaching Public Charter School to camp on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retiree Home on National Public Lands Day.

September 23-25: National Parks Conservation Association and Youthworks will celebrate National Public Lands Day by taking youth to Canyonlands for a Star Party campout in Moab, UT.

September 24: Appalachian Trail Conservancy is inviting families of all ages to participate in 28 different events being hosted along the trail from Georgia to Maine, celebrating National Public Lands Day.

September 27: In New York City, National Park Trust, The North Face, and OAK will co-host an Every Kid in a Park launch event at Gateway National Recreation Area for 90 fourth graders from Amersfort Public School (PS 119) in Brooklyn. This is the first of five events funded by The North Face’s Explore Fund.

October 7:  In Washington, DC, National Park Trust, The North Face, and OAK will co-host an Every Kid in a Park launch event for 60 fourth graders at Rock Creek Park.

October 14: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation and National Park Trust will host students in examining the Declaration of Independence from the view of its author Thomas Jefferson. The trip includes a visit to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

October 15: In Pawling, NY, the National Parks Conservation Association and Appalachian Trail Conservancy are co-hosting the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Day, featuring guided hikes and educational activities for kids and families.

October 18: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation, National Park Trust will help students become modern day explorers as they discover the biologically diverse area around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Using tools of the past, along with modern day technology, participants will follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as they inventory cultural and natural resources.

November 2: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation, National Park Trust and Wilderness Inquiry will take students canoeing on the Anacostia River. Additionally, rangers representing Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Frederick Douglas House, and Anacostia Park will teach students local history, ecology, and architecture on land.

November 5: In Mojave National Preserve, National Parks Conservation Association and the Mojave National Preserve Conservancy are co-hosting a star-gazing overnight camping experience for students from Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

November 9-10: National Parks Conservation Association and Wilderness Inquiry will connect hundreds of local students from Petersburg, Virginia, with the Lower Appomattox River.

Date TBD: S.O.S. Outreach provides Colorado fourth graders with a chance to experience the Colorado National Monument through a four day overnight excursion. This year they will host their 22nd annual trip.

A few additional resources from OAK members to support Every Kid in a Park programming:

  • The Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association launched Parks4Kids to provide micro grants to teachers, schools and nonprofits to connect our next generation with our nation’s parks and public lands. The campaign’s online platform connects individuals specific school to park experience projects.
  • Transforming Youth Outdoors is providing outdoor educators and teachers with a comprehensive set of tools and resources to support classroom and outdoor education and to provide the tools needed to get fourth graders onto our federal lands and waters.

In addition to our fourth grader events, members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids host programs and activities for kids of all ages. Visit our website to learn more.

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About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

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Photo Credit: National Park Service; OAK helps launch Every Kid in a Park in Washington, DC