This bill supports the 100,000+ children growing up in San Francisco, of which 55,000+ are enrolled with SFUSD. To help support our students participate in these experiences, SFUSD is supporting our first-ever “Get Outside Week” scheduled for April 20-24, 2015. SFUSD is on track to being one of the greenest districts in the country. For a free SF Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights poster, please send your name and school address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The following are the 10 experiences explicitly named in the bill and agencies that work to support them:
1) EXPLORE ALL WILD PLACES IN THE CITY
The best introductory guide for field experiences in San Francisco is Finding Urban Nature, An Educators' Guide to Exploring San Francisco Natural History. This manual is free and is often provided with summer professional development workshops. The guidebook provides detailed prep tips to consider, bathroom locations, MUNI routes and ‘quick tips’ about each park. Important information about what to consider, how to pack and prepare are also included. Self-guided adventure booklets exploring wild jewels of the city can be purchased from Urbia (bulk discounts for SFUSD classes).
2) HARVEST AND EAT A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE
All SFUSD schools are going through, or have gone through Prop A Bond Renovations. A portion of bond funding is put aside to create usable, educational green-spaces at each site. These spaces can directly support many CCSS and NGSS standards. If you are looking for inspiration for your own site, many elementary and secondary sites have excellent examples to borrow from. To have your students participate in this activity in a larger or more developed garden space, have your class to participate in the SFPUC sponsored Garden for the Environment Field Trip, or, reach out to the many amazing community gardens sponsored by SF Rec and Park. You can also use this on-line map to find where you can harvest fruit in public places.
3) PLANT A SEED AND WATCH IT GROW
Easily done within your classroom and transferred to your school’s outdoor green space. Observations of seed development not only satisfy many educational standards, but also help students connect to their community and environment in a fun and personal way. SFUSD sponsored FOSS kits provide basic supplies for elementary classrooms to support this activity. For school garden ideas and resources visit SFUSD’s Education Outside.
4) VISIT AND CARE FOR A LOCAL PARK
Our GGNRA Parks Conservancy, and SF Rec & Park provide supported stewardship programming for classrooms every single day of the week! Contact volunteer coordinators through the links to find out the best way to get your schools involved. The SF Parks Alliance has created this on-line map to help find local events and parks.
5) SPLASH BY THE OCEAN OR THE BAY
The Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association provides fantastic elementary and secondary programming that encourages standards-based student exploration of San Francisco's Pacific coastline. For Bay-based experiences, contact the Bay.org agency, which provides supported school group experiences along the Bay shoreline of San Francisco.
6) PLAY IN THE SAND OR MUD
Our own SFUSD Environmental Science Center supports structured, sandy-beach exploration with elementary students on the second day of their overnight. Secondary students can participate in citizen science activities by participating in LiMPETs Sandy Beach Monitoring at Crissy Field, Baker Beach, Ocean Beach or Fort Funston.
7) DISCOVER URBAN WILDLIFE
Citizen Science projects are an excellent and engaging way for students to investigate what wild plants and animals share San Francisco. The California Academy of Sciences regularly hosts Citizen Science gatherings for students of all ages. The Randall Museum provides an amazing facility that cares for many rehabilitated and non-releasable indigenous animals that students can learn from up close. eBird and iNaturalist.org are both free (and simple) apps that you can use to record and share your wildlife observations with the scientific world (and get answers to unknown species).
8) SLEEP UNDER THE STARS
Our own SFUSD Environmental Science Center (ESC) houses one of the only two permitted camping spots within San Francisco. ESC camping is available for SFUSD elementary school groups. While registration is full for 2014-15, our April science department newsletter will open registration for 2015-16. If you are looking for something for secondary students, Camping in the Presidio houses the only other camping spot within our city, and is open to PK-12.
9) CLIMB A TREE
Golden Gate National Recreation Area Land’s End hosts the Pacific Leadership institute that provides a safe and accessible tree-top, teamwork challenge opportunity appropriate for students above the age of 10, and for administrative teams!
10) RIDE A BIKE
SFUSD’s Bike to School Week is occurring simultaneously to “Get Outside Week” during April 20-24. To organize a bike-train, or safe bike route with your students, please contact the SFUSD Department of Sustainability.
If you are interested how to get your school more involved with Get Outside Week, or other resources that may exist to help you support these efforts, contact Lisa Wojcik of SFUSD's Environmental Science Center at email@example.com.