Educational and conservation programs at the Oakland Zoo are supported in part by sponsorships from foundations, corporations, and individuals. Opportunities abound for support including in-kind donations and financial contributions, and cover programs like ZooSchool, our fun summer long ZooCamp, and our community outreach program Zoo-to-Community. Many wonderful recognition opportunites also exist with these programs. Additional sponsorships not listed below include the Arroyo Viejo Creek restoration, our Conservation Speaker Series, and numerous events happening throughout the year. For all project opportunities listed please contact Emma Lee Twitchell, Director of Development, at 510-632-9525 x153.
In early 2006, the Zoo documented low attendance numbers from underserved neighborhoods within our own community of Oakland, and began researching possible programs that would increase accessibility by all members of the community. The resulting Zoo-to-Community outreach program launched in October 2006, with the goal of providing free Zoo admission and transportation to qualified schools, daycare and Headstart programs, early childhood development centers and community organizations.
The Zoo-to-Community outreach program consists of several different aspects. Each of the programs are offered free of charge to qualifying Headstart, Child Development Centers, Senior Centers, schools and other community agencies. Each program also provides vouchers for each participant to visit the Zoo free of charge with their families (the vouchers cover up to four family members and free parking).
Zoo-to-Community is sponsored by many community partners, including the Maddie's Fund, Junior League of Oakland, the T. Gary and Kathleen Rogers Foundation, Wells Fargo, The Oakland A's, First 5 Alameda and The Clorox Company.
Sponsors ensure the program the ability to reach all children in Alameda County with this fantastic opportunity. With the addition of new sponsors, the Oakland Zoo's Zoo-to-Community program can fulfill some of its goals, including the addition of new animals, a third conservation vehicle, and expansion into Contra Costa County schools.
The Oakland Zoo's ZooSchool facilitates local school groups throughout the school year and provides class time in one of our on-site classrooms and a tour of the Zoo. Our education specialists lead these in-depth programs.
These programs support and improve science literacy by providing science and environmental programs with stimulating and meaningful hands-on learning experiences otherwise unavailable in school classrooms. Before each program, educators provide classroom teachers with preparatory handbooks with ideas for discussion topics, investigative assignments and follow-up activities.
The curriculum is keyed to the California State Science Framework, providing unique and fun educational experience that provides substantive learning lessons and complements the school curriculum. This kind of informal science education has proven, through consistently great teacher reviews and community feedback, to be an enriching experience for children and an effective tool for teachers.
These programs have never been more vital. Oakland elementary teachers are required to provide only 15 minutes of science instruction per week. Schools and organizations in Oakland and in other communities do not have the funding for transportation and field trips to the Zoo or elsewhere. The need for affordable science and conservation outreach programs has increased as teachers strive to improve educational opportunities for their students.
Research has shown that children who interact with animals, and learn to treat animals with care and respect early in their development will also learn to value human relationships with the same care and respect well into adolescence and adulthood.
For a few weeks every summer the Oakland Zoo invites campers for an exciting summer of nature discovery, animal adventures, and fun. Camp activities include stories, puppet play, games, craft projects, science activities and of course, animals. We take great pride in creating age-appropriate options for campers age 4 through high school.
A large majority of our members come from Contra Costa, Napa and San Joaquin counties, as well as Santa Clara, Alameda and San Francisco. We also provide before and after care for the campers, allowing many parents to work a full day without making special accommodations for transportation.
Your donation to sponsor ZooCamp will help cover our scholarships, materials, t-shirts, bandanas and summer student teachers. We would be able to provide many opportunities for recognition, including logo placement, visiting opportunities, naming on t-shirts and signage and much more. The Oakland Zoo has over half a million visitors a year, mostly in the summer. We also have partnerships with local media who would be highlighting our ZooCamp program.
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