Open OutDoors For Kids / Every Kid in a Park - Houston

What is the Open OutDoors/Every Kid in a Park Program - Houston (OOK/EKIP Houston)?  OOK/EKIP is the opportunity to educate your students in the great outdoors!  OOK/EKIP provides field trip transportation reimbursement for field trips taken by Title I, 4th classes to our amazing Greater Houston Area outdoor spaces.  Teachers can easily book a field trip with one of many national, state, and local park partners who provide a variety of curriculum-based natural, cultural, and historical field trips correlated with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  These transportation funds are made available through a grant from the National Park Foundation for the 2018-2019 academic school year.  

Registering for an OOK/EKIP Houston Field Trip is Easy...PLEASE read ALL instructions before following links:

Confirm Eligibility:  Is your class at a Title 1 School in Region 4 ESC, and are your students in 4th Grade?  If yes, your class is eligible for transportation reimbursement.

Understand Requirements for Reimbursement:  

  • Teachers are required to present fun, educational pre- and post-field trip activities in the classroom. Templates are available here, or you may use ones provided by the field trip location.

  • After the trip, simply submit the dates that pre-and post-field trip activities were complete, along with the bus invoice.

  • Be prepared to complete a teacher survey…a small number of teachers will be randomly selected for a short survey on their field trip experience.

Instructions for Booking a Trip:  

  1. Locate the Google Map at the map at the top, right side of this webpage. Place your mouse cursor over the box in the upper right corner of the map, and click the words “View Larger Map

  2. Once opened, expand the map further using the “+” and “-“ buttons on the bottom left corner of the map.

  3. Find a field trip location near your school (the red/green balloon), and click on the balloon to learn more.

  4. View the description of the field trip location on the left side.

  5. Call or email the field trip contact to discuss field trip details and confirm a date.

  6. Once the date is confirmed, contact the Houston OOK/EKIP Team at houstonekip@gmail.com for travel reimbursement information.

  7. BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE PRE-TRIP ACTIVITY with your class before going to the site.

  8. Enjoy the Field Trip! Record the number of students, teachers, and chaperons who attended.

  9. After the trip, COMPLETE THE POST-FIELD TRIP ACTIVITY.

  10. Receiving Reimbursement:

  • Follow the instructions emailed to you after the field trip, requesting that you provide the following:

    • The total number of students and teachers who went on the field trip and distance to the site.

    • A simple statement saying you completed the pre- and post-activities, and

    • A scanned copy of your bus invoice.

    • Information on where the reimbursement is to be sent (payee and address)

  • Please also be prepared to take a survey on your field trip experience. A small number of teachers will be randomly selected to be surveyed by the National Park Foundation as a condition of the grant. Thank you!

Questions:

  • Do not hesitate to contact OOK/EKIP Houston if you have any questions along the way: houstonekip@gmail.com

How does the Houston OOK/EKIP relate to the National Open OutDoors for Kids (OOK) Program?

Open OutDoors for Kids (formerly Every Kid in a Park) is an initiative from the National Park Foundation to connect more kids to their national, state, and local parks through fun and engaging activities. Children today are more disconnected from their natural and cultural heritage than ever before. Open OutDoors for Kids is changing that—building on a child’s innate wonder and curiosity about the natural world.

Through focused programming in and out of parks, Open Outdoors for Kids addresses:

ACCESS: Providing transportation, programming and free entry to the parks for children and teachers to experience hands-on, immersive learning.

RELEVANCY: Connecting kids and families to the parks through programs that make people's lives better, establishing emotional relevancy of the parks through cultural programs and encourage active, healthy lifestyles through recreational and restoration activities.

EDUCATION: Establish "in-park" opportunities for children to learn in our national parks, the world's largest outdoor classrooms. Unmatched as learning environments and living laboratories, national parks offer children, families and teachers a unique gateway to experience nature, history and culture, to learn about biodiversity and the environment, and to engage with each other in the great outdoors.