By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager
National Summer Learning Day comes but once a year. It’s July 14, to be exact. That’s the advocacy day designated by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to “highlight the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer,” according to the NSLA website.
But at Big Thought we celebrate Summer Learning Day throughout the entire season, not to mention the whole year, as we close the opportunity gap by providing children with fantastic, imagination-expanding chances to reach their full potential.
“We believe that learning should never stop,” says Kristina Dove, Big Thought’s Program Manager, Partner Relations. “All kids should have the opportunity to enrich their minds and become excited about learning.”
Summer is ripe for that kind of nurturing motivation. We have Dallas City of Learning, a true public-private citywide commitment convened by both the City of Dallas and Dallas ISD, managed by Big Thought, and supported by a network of more than 200 community partners and organizations such as museums, libraries, parks, rec centers and neighborhood centers.
Dallas City of Learning is up and running for a third year, so we are busy providing Turn Up! and Pop Up! events frequently tied to existing summer camps. Which brings us to the State Fair Experience Camp, which began July 12 and concludes July 14 – right on National Summer Learning Day.
The camp, held at Fair Park’s Creative Arts Building, serves students from South Dallas that attend the various camps taking place in that area. Expected attendance for the three days is 150.
Day one of the State Fair Experience Camp included Chef Cassondra and the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute cooking Strawberry Smash Muffins and Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas using the State Fair Competition Kitchen.
Day two of the State Fair Experience Camp featured master gardener Jerry Robinson having students visit the Big Tex Urban Garden so they can learn about farming. He even had them plant their own seeds and take home the planters.
The final day of the State Fair Experience Camp is all about creating arts and crafts. Yes, it’s the arty day. But it’s also the Dallas City of Learning Pop Up day. Big Thought ambassadors will be on hand with plenty of laptops to register students for DCoL, provide them with digital credentials for their hard work completing the State Fair Camp. We will have fun swag for the kiddos and lots of incentives to keep learning long after summer.
“By providing kids with fun, hands-on and explorative experiences they may not otherwise have, we ensure they avoid the summer slide that could leave them lost at the beginning of the new school year,” says Dove.
Big Thought has more coming, too. DCoL’s second Turn Up! event happens July 23 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas Love Field. The third and final Turn Up! event for 2016 is Aug. 4, a DCoL Tech Day at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas.
“We want kids to stay active, to earn digital badges in a variety of subjects they choose, which helps them chart a path toward a career,” says Dove. “This is how Big Thought helps close the educational opportunity gap for our own kids right here in Dallas.”
Big Thought thanks its Dallas City of Learning donors for their incredibly generous support. For a full list of donors, please visit the Dallas City of Learning page.