If you're a family with a fourth grader, you can get into National Parks in Central New York and beyond for free, thanks to their 'Every Kid in a Park' program.

Families with children in fourth grade can get into National Parks for free for a whole year, simply by registering with the Every Kid in a Park website. The pass entitles the child, siblings and parents to get into any one of the National Park properties across the US. In Central New York, this includes the Erie Canal and Fort Stanwix in Rome. In New York State, it includes landmarks like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Why fourth graders? Because research suggests that children ages 9 to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them.They’re not only open to new ideas, but they are likely to connect to nature and America’s history.

Students participate in a fun, educational activity on the Every Kid in a Park website and receive a personalized paper pass to print and bring with them to visit public lands. Fourth graders must be present for free entry into parks and to exchange the paper pass for a plastic one.

"The Every Kid in a Park pass admits the fourth grader and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to three accompanying adults at sites that charge per person. The pass grants access to all federal lands and waters," according to the website.

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