Archived Story

Michigan fourth graders ski for free

Published 4:14pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

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 statewide program, which provides every fourth- grader in Michigan the opportunity to ski for free. Fourth-graders can obtain a “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at 20 participating ski areas.  The application is available online at

Steve Kershner, MSIA chairman and director of skiing at Shanty Creek, said 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 10-year-old kids have the coordination to pick up the sport quickly,” he said.

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 and safe activity for the entire family,” said 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. Although the skiing is free, MSIA charges a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered.

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