DALLAS CITY OF LEARNING AND BIG THOUGHT SHARE RESULTS OF FAMILY NEEDS SURVEY TO HELP SHAPE YOUTH PROGRAMMING THIS SUMMER AS THE STATE OF TEXAS BEGINS TO RE-OPEN
DALLAS, TX, May 21, 2020 – Dallas City of Learning, a citywide initiative to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs and its managing partner, Big Thought, an educational non-profit, published the results of a Family Needs Survey to help guide and shape summer programming for Dallas families and students.
“It is critically important for us to gauge the needs of Dallas families about their concerns and expectations about programming for their children this summer,” said Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew, vice president of community affairs and strategic alliances at the State Fair of Texas. “The insights from the Family Needs Survey will help youth-focused organizations make key decisions about in-person programming to how we communicate with families.”
The survey was distributed to Dallas parents with children ages 4-17. There were 1,171 responses to the survey, which was conducted from May 12 – 18. Multiple organizations came together to prepare and promote the survey, including Big Thought, Dallas City of Learning, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Park and Recreation, The Budd Center at SMU, Dallas Afterschool, the Center on Research and Evaluation at SMU, Dallas Public Library and State Fair of Texas.
Key findings include:
- 65% of responding families identified themselves as an ‘Essential Worker Household’
- 56% of respondents are considering in-person camp or child care this summer, with another 26% undecided
- 35% of respondents are considering virtual, on-line or at-home camp options this summer
The top three current issues for responding families are:
- Health of Our Family / Concerns re: COVID-19
- Child Safety While We Are At Work
- Balancing Work While We Are At Home
The top three concerns about in-person camps or child care this summer are:
- Program area of focus (i.e., academic, arts, sports)
The top three safety measures responding families would need to see at camp/child care this summer are:
- Access to and emphasis on handwashing
- Increased access to hand sanitizer
- Reduced class sizes/group sizes
For responding families interested in virtual, on-line or at-home camp options this summer the top three desired disciplines are:
- Visual arts
“We are so grateful to the hundreds of parents who shared their thoughts and concerns. Their input is essential,” said Ashley Brundage, senior vice president of community impact at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “We applaud Big Thought and Dallas City of Learning for helping equip service providers across the metroplex with this critical information to guide the creation of engaging and effective summer youth programs.”
“Our team at Big Thought looks forward to sharing this parent feedback with our program partners across the Dallas City of Learning network,” said Byron Sanders, president and chief executive officer of Big Thought. “Now is a time for us to come together in the service of our youth and families. Sharing information, best practices, plans, and ideas is how we will get through this together as a cohesive network. We appreciate all of our partners’ openness to work together.”
The results of the Family Needs Survey will be shared with hundreds of youth service agencies and providers across Dallas to help them make programming decisions for this summer. Big Thought will host a virtual Town Hall for youth-focused organizations to review the survey data and share insights from Dallas experts on Wednesday, May 27 at 11 a.m. Registration is available online.
ABOUT DALLAS CITY OF LEARNING
Dallas City of Learning is a citywide initiative to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs. Together with the City of Dallas, Dallas ISD, and more than 400 community partners, we connect students to the city’s most valuable out-of-school time resources. Dallas City of Learning is a public-private partnership that was launched in 2014 and serves an average of 75,000 students each year.
ABOUT BIG THOUGHT
Big Thought is an impact education nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by equipping all youth in marginalized communities with the skills and tools they need to imagine and create their best lives and a better world. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention.