'Our Place' After School Enrichment

- Spring 2021 -

Despite all the uncertainty and unprecedented challenges this year, Biocitizen remains committed to inviting students “off the screen, and into the green!” We are excited to offer an After School Enrichment focused on fun and outdoor learning!

Our After School Enrichment is an amazing opportunity for your student to get to know our local ecology, explore with their peers, and form lasting connections outside!

Get a feel for our program!

Class Description

The Essentials

Although Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States, our special city is proximal to so many spectacular outdoor classrooms. Some of these include Echo Park Lake, Elysian Park, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, the Los Angeles River Watershed, and many more!

  • Ages: 5 – 13 (14+ please inquire – teen programs are available)
  • Cost/Day: $50
  • Meeting times: 3:00 – 5:30 PM (2.5 hrs.)
  • Program Length: (16 Weeks) Jan 26th – May 21st 
  • Days per week offered: 2, or 4 days/week
          •       M/W, T/Th, M-Th (NELA)
  • Transportation: drop-off & pick-up provided by families (Covid-19 Protocols)
  • Locations: Localized offerings in North East LA, San Fernando Valley, West LA

North East LAEcho Park, Silver Lake, Elysian Heights, Atwater Village, Los Feliz, Pasadena, Altadena, etc.

San Fernando ValleyNorth Hollywood, Valley Village, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Encino, Sherman Oaks, etc. 

West LASanta Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Pacific Palisades, etc.


Daily Itinerary

Here’s what a typical day in the field looks like:

3:00 – 3:15 PM – Student Drop-off/Sign-in
3:15 – 3:30 PM – Group Circle + Intros + Plan for Day
3:30 – 4:15 PM – Hiking/Activities
4:15 – 4:30 PM – Snack Break
4:30 – 5:00 PM – Nature Journaling / Nature Craft
5:00 – 5:15 PM – Hike back to the trailhead
5: 15 – 5:30 PM – Closing Circle + Gratitude Share
5:30 – 5:45 PM – Student Pick-up/Sign out

What can we expect from Biocitizen’s “Our Place”?

With an abundance of hiking opportunities, natural-history exploration, sensory awareness games, nature crafts, medicinal plant explorations, indigenous history, and field journaling, your student will form a profound connection to place, all while living in one of the largest cities in the country!

Actively combatting the widespread Nature Deficit Syndrome we bring our students “Off the screen and into the green”. We know that even just a couple hours a day in outdoor spaces can have dramatically positive impacts for your student, including improvements to their mental health, self-confidence, connection to nature, and resilience!

How does that magic happen?

That’s a good question! It all starts with our amazing staff and our unique educational philosophy. Through inquiry-based learning, nature-play, exploration of our biocultural history, and community building techniques, we will help your child stretch their comfort zone!

Our combination of experienced and friendly staff, spectacular outdoor classrooms, community building techniques, and long-term mentorship will provide your child with connections to nature, their peers, and themselves, which will give them the depth of experience you always wanted for them. 

So do you think my child will have fun visiting the same location more than once?

Yes, and here’s why!

Instead of viewing nature as a one-time visit like at an amusement park, we have a slightly different perspective. At Biocitizen, we view our outdoor classrooms, more as an onion, whose true character and inner depth is revealed the more we peel back its layers.

By returning to a particular outdoor locale, it has been our experience that kids really love the mastery that they gain.  Learning to read the subtle nuances of a landscape, tracking seasonal changes, learning where birds nest, which berries are ripe, or where the bobcat sleeps are all acquirable skills. However, this depth doesn’t happen in one visit. This depth of experience grows out of the investment in time and place!

Out of the mouths of babes:

“Something I’ve learned this week… is some of the different bird calls, it’s cool because I don’t usually focus on those things!”  – Armando, 10
“My favorite plant I’ve learned about this week is probably the Lemonadeberry. It’s cool that we get to eat it, and you can put it in your water and then it tastes like lemonade” – Sydney, 11
Before I started Biocitizen, I wasn’t really good at making lots of new friends. Like, I had one best friend, and that was all I needed. But after coming to Biocitizen, I’ve felt more confident making lots of new friends”                   – May, 10
One special wildlife moment I had with Biocitizen was… when we got to see a mama bear and two baby bears! They were so cute, I didn’t know bears live in Los Angeles!” – Itamar, 6

 

After School Enrichment FAQ's

Q1: What are your Covid-19 Protocols?

So glad you asked because we are very proud of them!

1. Mandatory Masks 

With the exception of eating, drinking water,  safely distanced swimming, or physically distant rest breaks all students and staff will be wearing masks.

*Any photos of students not wearing masks are because they fall into the categories above. We take our COVID-19 protocols very seriously and prioritize our group’s collective well being!

2. Physical Distancing

Within reason, all students and staff are required to maintain a minimum of 6-ft between one another. 

All staff and students are well briefed on our physical distancing guidelines and expectations. If a student is struggling with either wearing their mask or following our distancing guidelines, a conversation with the family will happen to address the issues. 

3. Hygiene 

  1. Hand Sanitizing – Frequent hand sanitizing throughout the day, especially before and after meals, or when an item like a stick may be passed around
  2. Hand-washing
    1. When our location permits, we will of course have our students wash their hands as much as possible.

4. Staff COVID Testing

To ensure the safety of our community, organization, and staff, each member of our field team is required to be tested once a week.  That way if something comes up, we can address it immediately and eliminate the risk of exposure.

5. NO VANS

We will not be operating any of our vans, as this does not provide us the necessary physical distancing. Therefore, all pick-up/drop-offs will be provided by families.

Q2: Will we be required to bring our own masks or is Biocitizen providing masks?

Yes, please bring your own mask(s) for your student. 

Q3: What’s the best way to refer a friend or get on the waitlist? Is the website up to date on availability?

Click on the REGISTER NOW button, and then select the days/week you are interested in enrolling in. Once you make your selection, you will see orange text pop up below indicating how many spaces are available. 

Our site is indeed up-to-date, and when you select the week you would like to register, the selection window will let you know how many spaces are available. 

Q4: How will locations be communicated?

Before the start of each week, your group’s lead teacher will send out an email with GPS links to all the pick-up and drop-off locations. 

Q5: Will aftercare be available?

As of yet, we don’t have any requests for aftercare. However, if there is serious demand we will address it based on teacher availability. 

Q6: Are Camelbacks cool?

You better believe it! 1.5 – 3-liter bladders are great to throw in the backpack and can help make hydrating fun!

Here are a couple of recommendationsDO NOT GET A SUPER CHEAP ONE, it will leak all over your student’s belongings and then everyone will be sad. 🙁

Q7: Will my students still enjoy your program, despite all the Covid-19 protocols?
We are confident your student will have a great time!

All of our staff are highly trained, incorporate both fun and meaningful programming. With a diverse array of activities, awesome nature crafts, games, and tons of classic Biocitizen fun, we know your student is going to have blast and a half!

If we weren’t certain we could provide top-notch programming, we wouldn’t be running right now!

Q8: Are financial accommodations available?

Got a question? Let’s see if we can work it out!

Contact – Benny@biocitizen.org

Registration

After School Enrichment Spring 2021 

When: Monday-Thursday, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm from Jan 26th – May 21st

Where: 3 Program Offerings (San Fernando Valley, North East LA, & West LA)

Enrollment: 16-week semester with multiple days/week available

Group Size:  12 students max/group

Child/Staff Ratio: 6:1 max

Wonder | Connection | Stewardship

Biocitizen LA’s After School Enrichment provides your child with the opportunity to experience the environment in playful, mindful, AND wild ways while exploring the meanings and systems that formed the places we inhabit each day.

​Our Place is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with “Our Place,” the natural and urban environment of the Los Angeles River Basin Biome.

Our daily explorations bring students into direct contact with LA’s myriad of wild and urban habitats and ecosystems. Our classes are active, immersive, and reflective: We hike, climb, swim, share, and always take time to simply sit and observe the world around us.


Our Philosophy:

Biocitizen LA provides experiential learning via Field Environmental Philosophy (FEP). FEP is simply the practice of inquiry-based learning while we walk! Programs are designed to increase student’s perceptual abilities; stimulate their critical thinking skills; inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep & lasting appreciation of LA—and of themselves.

On a treasure hunt in pursuit of natural and cultural signs and stories…an active and immersive adventure! Our students walk 1 – 3 miles per day and will get to carry all their belongings!

Although we cannot require testing, we can ask our community to do the following:

1. Get a free COVID-19 Test by the Friday before session start. (At the latest)

2. Quarantine (actually) over the weekend.

3. Check for fever or any symptoms and if any are present DO NOT send your student. 

Follow these three simple steps, and you can help ensure we all have a safe and healthy summer!

Let’s all do our part to be “Covid-Cool”!

Curious about our program?

Let’s chat! – Benny@biocitizen.org

 

Join The Waitlist Please list the following so that we can properly place your child quickly if a spot becomes available. Thanks for your interest! - Your name, email and phone number - Child's name and age - Specific friend requests (do you have a friend in the group?)