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"The 9th Grade Paddle Pass Program"

PRESS RELEASE 4/6/11 for immediate release

Valid through 12/31/12

For more info contact: Cheryl Fox (856) 692-8440 foxcanoeandkayak@msn.com

Al & Sam's Canoe/Kayak the First in NJ to Offer Free Paddling Passport to Registered 9th Graders!!

Ninth grade students across the country, including local freshmen, can go paddling at Parvin State Park for free this season thanks to a new program announced jointly by the Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) and Al & Sam's Canoe/Kayak.

Called the "9th Grade Paddle Pass, " the program allows students to register and receive a passport that will get them up to 10 free padding trips with participating outfitters across the U.S.

Cheryl Fox, Manager of Al & Sam's Canoe/Kayak said the program is designed to get local kids out on the water, enjoying nature.

"Many of our local high school freshmen have never had the opportunity to explore this treasure right in their own backyards," Fox said. "We're pleased to help PPA increase participation in paddling by young people, which we hope will lead to them being good stewards of our natural resources."

PPA decided to target ninth graders for the free paddling program because "children entering high school are beginning to form patterns of what their futures will become," said Executive Director Rachel Wisner. She cites studies showing that, compared with past generations, today's youth are more prone to obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and impaired social skills due to a lack of unstructured play time outdoors. "The socially acceptable way of life for most teens is to sit inside in front of a computer or television screen after school", Wisner said. "We want to reintroduce kids to the joys of spending time in the great outdoors."

To participate in the program, 9th graders must register at www.paddlepass.com, and then have a teacher or administrator verify the information and return it to the PPA. The trade association will send qualifying students a passport good for up to 10 free paddling trips, either at the same location or at ten different participating outfitters. Freshmen may choose canoes or kayaks.

Several restrictions apply, however.

A paying adult must accompany the 9th grader and it cannot be used over the 4th of July weekend. Other participating outfitters may have different restrictions.

The Professional Paddlesports Association is a non-profit trade association focused on fostering paddlesports businesses nationwide by increasing the number of participants in canoeing and kayaking, as well as how often they paddle.

The group also provides liveries and outfitters with professional development programs designed to grow their businesses.

Al & Sam's Canoes/Kayaks Rentals and Retail has three locations. This program can only be used at the Parvin State Park location.

For more info, go to www.paddlepass.com, www.alandsams.com, email foxcanoeandkayak@msn.com, or call (856) 692-8440.

Al and Sam's website