A unique opportunity for third grade teachers and their students
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) spans Alameda and Contra Costa counties with 73 beautiful local parks including over 1,250 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 eighth 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:
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:
The number of KHOC classrooms has increased in each of the past seven school years, with over 3,100 third grade students throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties participating in the program in school year 2018 - 2019.
KHOC has had impressive results. as measured by a year-end survey. In school year 2018 - 2019, most teachers said that KHOC lessons increased comfort with leading classroom activities outdoors (90%), and their skills teaching outdoors (76%).
Most (86%) agreed that participating in KHOC made their class want to spend more time being active outdoors. and 60% agreed they spent more time teaching outdoors this school year than they did the previous school year.
Finally, 78% agreed that KHOC helped them to meet curriculum standards.
For more detail, download full reports on KHOC results from past school years:
EBRPD’s aim is to include an ethnically and socio-economically representative sample of classrooms. We seek applications from urban, suburban and rural communities.
This year, due to limited resources, KHOC is limiting a teacher’s KHOC participation to three years total.
This means teachers who have participated in KHOC three or more times in the past are not eligible to apply this year, unless they are applying together with newer, eligible teachers from their school.
In 2016, KHOC began promoting self-guided field trip options at four parks, with activities highlighting the natural and cultural resources of each park. Instructions are included on this website, and activity packs and materials are available for free checkout at the following sites:
For future programs:
After this, we hope that teachers will have the skills to continue using the Regional Parks (and self-guided materials) on their own. Please also see our FAQs below for more information on this change.
If selected to participate in KHOC, teachers will be expected to attend a KHOC Teacher Orientation. All teachers are asked to attend an orientation of their choice; there is even a shorter one on November 15, available to teachers who have participated in KHOC before.
Dates, Times & Locations:
New teacher orientations run from 10 am to 2 pm and lunch is provided.
Returning KHOC Teachers only:
Friday, November 15, 2019 (5-7 pm) - Environmental Education Center, Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley
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).
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Download: Please see our KHOC FAQs for more details about the program.
Funded by the Regional Parks Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the Contra Costa County Fish, Wildlife Committee.