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 > East Bay Regional Park District | Embrace Life! > Activities > Educator Resources > Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

Applications For School Year 2016-17 are now CLOSED
(Applications were due on October 3, 2016)

A unique opportunity for third grade teachers and their students

About Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) spans Alameda and Contra Costa counties with 112,000+ acres in 65 beautiful local parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study.
In school year 2012-2013, EBRPD piloted the Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC) with an aim of introducing children to local parks through classroom-based activities. Before the pilot, EBRPD worked to ensure that KHOC supported 3rd grade Common Core curriculum standards as much as possible by inviting a group of local educators to contribute to content. We want KHOC to support learning so that it is not just “one more thing to do” in the classroom. This means that KHOC will change with time to meet educator needs and curriculum standards.

KHOC includes ten lessons, designed to be fun and easy to complete. They include Connecting with the Past (e.g., exploring Ohlone culture), Planting a Seed, Exploring Nature, and Following a Trail. The curriculum also contains activities that students can explore with their families outside of school time.

Now entering its fourth school year, KHOC’s goal is connecting 3rd graders to the outdoors and recreational opportunities, promoting health and well-being, physical activity and life-long parks use. To achieve this, KHOC provides:

  • A Kids curriculum booklet and Teacher Guide filled with engaging activities aligned with 3rd grade curriculum content standards.
  • An EBRPD-facilitated orientation to help teachers learn to use the curriculum.
  • A free EBRPD Field Trip for every participating class with an optional naturalist-guided field trip available.

KHOC is also closely aligned with activities in the California Children’s Outdoor Bill Of Rights which states that every child in California, by the completion of their 14th year, should have the opportunity to experience a number of common outdoors activities such as discovering California’s past and heritage, exploring nature, and learning to follow a trail.

You can learn more about the Outdoor Bill of Rights here:

KHOC Results

The number of participating KHOC classrooms has increased in each of the past four school years, with over 3,000 students throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties completing the program in school year 2015-16.

KHOC has also had impressive results over the past four years, as measured by a year-end survey. In school year 2015-16, most teachers said that KHOC lessons increased comfort with leading classroom activities outdoors (85%), and their skills teaching outdoors (71%).

Most (93%) agreed that participating in KHOC made their class want to spend more time being active outdoors, and 73% agreed they spent more time teaching outdoors this school year than they did the previous school year.

Finally, 73% agreed that KHOC helped them to meet new Common Core curriculum standards.

For more detail, download full reports on KHOC results from the past three school years:

Eligibility and Expectations of Participants

Applications should:

  • Be submitted by a public elementary school located in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties.
  • Document ability to ensure participation by up to four 3rd grade classrooms from the same school.
  • Designate up to four 3rd grade “Teacher Champions” from the same school (3rd grade teachers who will pilot the project in their classrooms).

EBRPD’s aim is to include an ethnically and socio-economically representative sample of classrooms. We seek applications from urban, suburban and rural communities.

We hope to invite as many participants as resources allow, and teachers who have participated in the past are invited to apply again this year.
If selected to participate in KHOC, teachers will be expected to:

Attend a KHOC Teacher Orientation during November 2016. All teachers are asked to attend an orientation, even previously participating teachers.

The following training dates are available and include a lunch:

  > November 3 (5-7pm), Tilden Nature Area (available to teachers returning for their second year, only)
  > November 5, 2016, Martinez Shoreline, Martinez
  > November 12, 2016, Garin Regional Park, Hayward
  > November 19, 2016, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
  > November 19, 2016, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton

After registering, you will receive more detailed information about your selected orientation training. Note that each of the orientations above, except for November 3rd at Tilden, include training in a self-guided program with materials and activities specific to the park where the orientation is located. Our hope is to facilitate comfort in leading your own classroom programs in the parks, particularly for teachers who have participated in KHOC for three or more years.

  > Complete the curriculum’s student introduction section plus at least three of the ten (3 of 10) activities in the KHOC curriculum before going on your park field trip.
  > Submit appropriate request forms for the field trip and complete the field trip by May 12, 2017.
  > Complete all required activities and take an online survey at the end of the school year. (This feedback will help EBRPD improve KHOC for future use.)


  • Applications Due: October 3, 2016
  • Announcement of Selected Classrooms: On or about October 14, 2016
  • KHOC Teacher Orientation: November 2016
    Teachers can choose the date that works best for them, and all teachers are being asked to attend an orientation this year.
  • Projected KHOC start date: November 2016
  • Naturalist-guided field trip (optional): Requests for a naturalist-guided program are due by Monday, December 5, 2016.
  • Transportation requests due: by March 1, 2017
  • Completion of project activities and field trip: May 12, 2017
  • End of Year Teacher Survey: June 2017

Teacher Resources


Self-guided Trip Options

Four self-guided trips have been developed with park-specific activities highlighting the natural and cultural resources of each park.
Activity packs and materials are available for free checkout to KHOC teachers (see information sheets below for more details).

For More Information...

Please contact us at for more information.

Download: Please see our KHOC Frequently Asked Questions for more details about the program.

Funded by the Regional Parks Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the Contra Costa County Fish, Wildlife Committee.  

 Regional Parks Foundation     image005   Contra Costa County ~ Fish & Wildlife Committee    

Applications For School Year 2016-17 are now CLOSED
(Applications were due on October 3, 2016)