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The Kern Environmental Education Program (KEEP), opened in 1968, provides a five-day residential environmental education program for Kern County’s fifth and sixth grade students. Operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, KEEP's two campuses serve over 7,000 students each year. This means ALL children. Besides fifth and sixth graders, KEEP staff host and serve the visually and orthopedically handicapped, deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as children and adults with mental disabilities.

KEEP consists of two separate and beautiful coastal campuses: KEEP Ocean at Montaña de Oro State Park and KEEP By the Sea in Arroyo Grande. Our curriculum stresses the most up-to-date concepts and hands-on activities in the environmental education field, directly correlated with the California State Science Content Standards. A range of 80 to 112 students can be accommodated each week at each of the campuses. The outdoor school sites consist of student cabins, restroom/shower facilities, separate teacher cabin, dining hall and learning center. A professionally trained staff of naturalists, food service workers, and maintenance personnel manage the day-to-day operations. The curriculum is taught by staff naturalists who also lead hikes and conduct evening and campfire programs. Classroom teachers participate as learners and help with student management and health care. The non-profit KEEP Foundation provides scholarships and other financial assistance to support KEEP. Participating students gain an educational and social experience at KEEP that can’t be matched in a classroom setting.

KEEP was created to provide environmental experiences for Kern County’s school children. From modest beginnings, KEEP now serves over 7,000 students each year at two campuses located near the ocean. The campuses are KEEP Ocean and KEEP By the Sea. 

For additional information, contact your child's school or the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at (661) 831-8331, ext. 6102.

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