The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

Fourth graders can get free history pass

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — America 250-Ohio, the official state commission responsible for spearheading Ohio’s celebrations around America’s semiquincentennial in 2026, is proud to unveil the 4th Grade History Pass. Every fourth grade student in Ohio now has the opportunity to visit participating history-related museums and sites free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. The program aims to cultivate curiosity in young minds in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

“We believe that this opportunity will inspire fourth grade students to explore and appreciate Ohio’s history, fostering a sense of pride and connection to their roots,” said Todd Kleismit, Executive Director of America 250-Ohio. “We hope this program brings enthusiasm to many families and students who are interested in learning more about Ohio’s contributions to the nation’s history for 250+ years.”

The Ohio History Center in Columbus is one of 10 institutions on the list for 4th Grade History Pass. Ohio History Center photo

Fourth grade students can use the pass at more than 10 institutions throughout Ohio, including Ohio History Center, Cincinnati Museum Center, Western Reserve Historical Society/Cleveland History Center, Campus Martius Museum and Fort Meigs Historic Site. A comprehensive list of participating locations where the pass can be redeemed is available at To participate, a pass can be acquired from the America 250-Ohio website where there is an option to select a printed or digital version for download. Regular admission fees apply for accompanying family members, and passes are not valid for field trips or group visits. It was noted that other restrictions may apply.

“We are incredibly thankful to our history-related museums and site partners for opening their doors and participating in this important initiative,” said Doug Preisse, America 250-Ohio Commission Co-Chair. “Through this program, we aim to teach young minds that history is not a lesson on the past, but a guiding force for the future.”

According to the Ohio Department of Education, fourth grade curriculum centers on the initial stages of Ohio and U.S. development. Students in this grade study the historical, geographical, governmental, and economic aspects of their state and nation. The foundational elements of U.S. history are introduced through the study of prehistoric Ohio cultures, early American life, the U.S. Constitution, and the evolution of Ohio and the United States. This educational journey helps students grasp the influence of historical ideas and events on the present-day shaping of Ohio and the United States.

“As an educator, I am thrilled about the America 250-Ohio initiative offering free access to participating history museums for fourth grade students,” said Shawn Kaeser, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in Ohio and father of nine children. This program aligns with our curriculum, providing an immersive experience that goes beyond the classroom.”

Pass Restrictions: One pass per fourth grade student per transaction for free general admission. Must be accompanied by paid adult general admission. The pass must be presented at the time of purchase, either as a digital version on a smartphone or a printed version. The program is for fourth grade students for the 2023-2024 school year. The pass is valid through August 31, 2024. Each school year on September 1 the pass for the fourth-grade students of that school year will be available and valid through the following August. The program will end on December 31, 2026.

POSTED: 02/09/24 at 4:50 am. FILED UNDER: News