Obama to Fourth Graders: Brace Yourself for No-Fun Vacations Ahead

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Kids climbing on trees, vines
Photo: Raymond Haddad/Getty Images

On Thursday, the White House debuted plans to target a demographic long ignored by the Democratic Party given its history of electoral apathy: fourth graders. 

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and the administration is celebrating by offering fourth graders and their families a chance to visit national parks and other public land free of charge. The program, called "Every Kid in a Park," will take place during the 2015–2016 school year, and the National Park Foundation plans to provide travel assistance to schools with many low-income students.

The White House cited a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation poll when announcing the project, which notes that kids spend about 53 hours a week glued to electronic devices. "Every Kid in a Park" will make these grueling hours more fun by helping kids practice properly Instagramming a sunset.

The program will also hopefully lead to a significant uptick in the number of young Junior Rangers across America, an underappreciated but reliable indicator of national well-being.