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

Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC)

Instructions For Application: School Year 2014-2015
Due: September 26, 2014

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 first piloted the Kids Healthy Outdoors Challenge (KHOC) with an aim of introducing children to some of these local parks through classroom-based activities. We selected about 30 3rd grade classrooms throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties to participate in the challenge. A second pilot year was completed during school year 2013-2014 with another set of 30 3rd grade classrooms.

Research has documented significant benefits to kids who receive outdoor education (Lieberman and Hoody, 1998):

    • Better performance on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies
    • Reduced discipline and classroom management problems
    • Increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning
    • Greater pride and ownership in accomplishments

KHOC is also closely aligned with activities in the state’s 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:

Moreover, EBRPD worked to ensure that KHOC supports 3rd grade curriculum content standards, including Core Content Standards, as much as possible. A group of local educators contributed to curriculum content to make sure that KHOC supports classroom learning so that it is not just “one more thing to do” in the classroom.

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 has had great results in its first two pilot years. In school year 2013-14, the majority of teachers (78%) felt that KHOC helped students explore and master curriculum topics they were required to learn.

KHOC also helps teachers develop outdoors education capabilities. Most teachers said that KHOC increased their comfort with leading classroom activities outdoors (67%), and their skills teaching outdoors (61%).

Finally, 94% agreed that participating in KHOC made their class want to spend more time being active outdoors, and 78% agreed they spent more time teaching outdoors this school year than they did the last school year.  

For more detail, download full reports on KHOC results from 2012-13 and 2013-14: 

Teachers interested in participating in 2014-2015 can download the KHOC Application and Instructions.  Review the instructions and application form carefully.

Applications are due September 26, 2014.  NOTE: Any eligible school may apply, but teachers and schools that have not participated in KHOC in previous pilot years will be given priority for the 2014-2015 school year.

Expectations of Participants

If selected to participate in KHOC, teachers will be expected to:

    • Attend a KHOC orientation during the month of October (the orientation will be about 3 hours, and will take place on a weekday evening or a Saturday. At least two orientation dates will be offered)
    • Complete the curriculum’s student orientation plus at least three of the ten activities in the KHOC curriculum. Teachers will need to submit a completed activity log prior to approval for an EBRPD field trip
    • Submit appropriate request forms for the field trip and complete the field trip by May 15, 2015
    • Complete all required activity logs, student questionnaires, and take an on-line survey at the end of the school year. This feedback will help EBRPD improve KHOC for future use

Timeline

  • RFA Responses Due: September 26, 2014 – applications must be received by this date
  • Announcement of Selected Classrooms: on or about October 8, 2013
  • Teacher Orientation: dates TBA in October. Orientations will be about 3 hours each, held during weekday evening or Saturday hours at EBRPD facilities. A choice of at least two dates will be offered.
  • Projected KHOC start date: November 2014
  • Completion of project activities and field trip: May 15, 2015

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Instructor Handouts & Other Materials

**Coming soon.

For More Information...

Please contact us at khoc@ebparks.org for more information.

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

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