Henry Doorly Zoo giving free memberships to low-income families

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is renewing a program that gives free zoo memberships to low-income families.

In December 2016, the zoo partnered with United Way of the Midlands to launch the “Take Your Family to the Zoo” program, which gives free memberships to families of third-graders in metro-area schools with high rates of students who receive free or reduced lunches.

Last year, the program reached 913 families across 31 schools in Omaha Public Schools, Council Bluffs Community Schools and Sacred Heart School. This year, the program aims to give away 1,500 memberships across 44 schools, lowering the school threshold from 85 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunches to 80 percent.

The program replaced the zoo’s popular free admission days.

Eligible families have until Oct. 31 to request a membership for 2018. Families who are interested can call the United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline.

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