The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) wants to give Michigan kids an opportunity to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter. This is why MSIA has established a state-wide program which provides every fourth grader in Michigan the opportunity to ski for free. Endorsed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, fourth graders can obtain a “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at 22 participating ski areas.
The “Cold is Cool” Fourth Grade Ski & Ride Passport is one of the elements of MSIA’s “Cold is Cool” program, which is dedicated to improving the health of the children in our state by offering winter outdoor activities for all Michigan kids and their families.
Steve Kershner, MSIA chairman and director of skiing at Shanty Creek, says the association wants Michigan kids to have the opportunity to ski or snowboard. “Fourth grade is the perfect age to learn to ski. Nine- and ten-year-old kids have the coordination to pick up the sport quickly,” he adds.
In order for fourth graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them. “We feel that fourth graders should be supervised by an adult while on the slopes and trails. Our intention is to make this a fun, affordable activity for the entire family,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director. With the Passport, up to two fourth graders can ski free with each paying adult.
In the Fall, Michigan elementary and middle school principals receive a “Cold is Cool” packet with information on a variety of MSIA programs including application forms for the Fourth Grade Passport. Kids can also pick up the applications at participating MSIA ski shops and by clicking here. Although the skiing is free, MSIA charges a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered.
The Cold is Cool Fourth Grade Ski & Ride Passport has blackout dates at some of the participating ski areas. Dates are listed on the application and the passport itself.
Passport applications are sent to all Michigan elementary schools in November. They are also available at MSIA Ski Shops in November, or you can visit the MSIA web site
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