By Sheila Chapman Big Sky Resort PR Manager

BIG SKY – Big Sky Resort is encouraging students to strive for academic improvement by offering outdoor recreation incentives again this winter.

The Moonlight Basin Aspirations Reward Team (M-BAR-T) Program and the Bozeman High School’s Project Excel Program – in which the resort also participates – are incentive-based tools designed to encourage students to improve their grades, and reward them for making the honor roll.

The M-BAR-T Program started when Moonlight Basin Ski Resort opened in 2003 and offers discounted Moonlight and Big Sky Resort season passes to sixth through 12th graders attending specific public, private and home schools in Gallatin, Madison, Beaverhead, Park and Sweet Grass counties. Eligible students must achieve a 3.0 GPA or greater for the first applicable grading period of the 2014/2015 school year.

Through the Bozeman High School Project Excel Program, Big Sky Resort offers a free Sky Card to students with a 3.0 GPA or greater – and no more than five excused absences – during the previous semester. The Sky Card provides a free week of skiing at the beginning and end of the season, as well as daily discounted rates. In addition to being in good academic standing, Bozeman High students must have completed 10-15 hours of community service.

“We feel strongly about Montana’s youth succeeding in the classroom and experiencing outdoor sports,” said Brandon Bang, sales and marketing director at Big Sky Resort. “Both programs encourage young people to experience the beauty, freedom and physical challenge of snow sports with their friends and family.”

Visit bigskyresort.com/M-BAR-T or bhs.bsd7.org for more information about the programs.