Mockingbird Elementary student pushes for free state park access for fifth-graders


Updated Jan. 30, 2020: Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law named after Lily, a Mockingbird Elementary student, that allows fifth-graders to visit state parks for free!

Original story: A Dallas ISD elementary student is on a mission: make it free for all fifth-graders to visit Texas state parks.

Lily Kay, who attends Mockingbird Elementary School, got the idea after visiting a federal park for free. Kay wrote her state representative, got a response, and ended up speaking about her proposal to a House panel at the Capitol in Austin.

“It was scary talking before the House panel, and sometimes I wasn’t sure how to answer their questions,” Kay said. “But it’s also exciting, because I know I’ve done something that could change a law and have a big impact on other kids.”

The Dallas Morning News reports how Kay’s proposal would help more than 417,700 Texas fifth-graders, and their car companions, into state parks for free.

Mockingbird Elementary Principal Melanie Mans called Kay an inspiration to other students.

“She is setting the pavement for other students to follow in her path,” Mans said. “This can encourage other students to develop their own ideas and send them through the legal process.”


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