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Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

 A unique opportunity for third grade teachers and their students

KHOC Application

Applications to participate in the KHOC program for school year 2022-2023 must be received by 5:00pm on Monday, September 12, 2022, and are open to third grade* public school teachers within Alameda or Contra Costa Counties only.

*This can include teachers of split-grade classes.

Please complete the online application here:

NOTE: Participation in KHOC is limited to three years per teacher.

About Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

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 third 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.

KHOC’s goal is connecting third 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 third 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:

How KHOC Works

Interested and eligible third grade teachers apply to participate in the KHOC program by the application deadline (Monday, September 12, 2022).

KHOC/Park District staff review, evaluate, and make recommendations (accept or decline to accept) for each application. Determinations will be made and communicated to all applicants by Thursday, September 22, 2022.

If accepted, each approved teacher attends at least one mandatory virtual orientation to become eligible for FREE bus transportation for one field trip for their class. Teachers are encouraged but not required to attend a subsequent in-person/in-park orientation as well. (Refer to orientation schedule below.)

Teachers obtain printed resource materials (Teacher Guide and Student Booklets) and incorporate at least three KHOC lessons into their curriculum.

Teachers then decide if they wish to:

  • take their class on a self-guided (teacher-led) field trip to any East Bay Regional Park

– OR –

  • request a Naturalist-led field trip at one of the eight visitor centers within the Park District

Teachers confirm a date for their field trip (either self-guided OR Naturalist-led) and apply for FREE bus transportation by the transportation deadline (Monday, March 6, 2023).

Teachers complete their field trip by the activity deadline (Friday, May 12, 2023).Teachers complete optional end-of-year survey (mid-late May 2023).

    Eligibility 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 third grade classrooms from the same school.

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

    NOTE: Participation in KHOC is limited to three years per teacher.

    For future programs:

    • First year KHOC teachers will receive their introduction to the program and self-guided options.
    • In their second year, KHOC teachers should develop their skills and activities.
    • In their third year, KHOC teachers should perfect their outdoor teaching skills by exploring the self-guided options.

    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 for more information on this change.

    Expectations of Participants

    If selected to participate in KHOC, each participating teacher will be expected to:

    • attend a mandatory KHOC Virtual Teacher Orientation
    • obtain a printed KHOC Teacher's Guide
    • obtain printed KHOC Student Booklets (one booklet for each student)
    • Incorporate at least three lessons into their classroom during the school year

    Orientation Dates and Locations

    Only approved KHOC teachers may attend orientations. Orientation signup information will be communicated to teachers accepted into the KHOC program.

    Virtual Orientations (attending one session is mandatory)

    Saturday, October 1, 10:00-11:00am (Zoom)

    Wednesday, October 5, 7:00-8:00pm (Zoom)

    Tuesday, October 11, 6:30-7:30pm (Zoom)

    Saturday, October 15, 3:30-4:30pm (Zoom)

     

    In-Person Orientations (optional, but highly encouraged)

    Saturday, October 15, 10:00-12:00pm

    (Garin Regional Park, Hayward)*

    Saturday, October 22, 10:00-12:00pm

    (Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, Pleasanton)

    Saturday, October 22, 10:00-12:00pm

    Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Oakland)

    Saturday, October 29, 11:00-1:00pm

    (Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park, Martinez)

    *Attendees for this in-person orientation (Saturday, October 15 (Garin)) MUST have attended a virtual orientation first.

    Timeline

    Monday, September 12, 2022

    KHOC Applications Due

    Thursday, September 22, 2022

    Announcement of Approved KHOC Teachers/classes

    October 1 – 15, 2022 (various dates)

    Virtual Teacher Orientations (mandatory)

    October 15 – 29, 2022 (various dates)

    In-person Teacher Orientations & Material Pick Up

    Monday, March 6, 2023

    Bus Transportation Requests Due

    Friday, May 12, 2023

    Completion of KHOC Lessons and Field Trip

    Mid-late May 2023

    End-of-year Teacher Survey

    Teacher Resources

    Forms

    Booklets

    Self-guided Trip Options

    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:

    Video Supplements

    KHOC Results

    The number of KHOC classrooms has increased year over year, 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:

    For More Information...

    Please contact us at khoc@ebparks.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.  

     

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