Dallas City of Learning


Students get an in-depth, behind-the-scenes view of the airport

Who: Big Thought will be presenting the fourth annual Dallas City of Learning Turn Up! At Dallas Love Field, along with Dallas ISD, Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas Love Field and its Centennial Committee, and the city of Dallas.

Available for interviews: Kristina Dove, senior partner relations manager, Big Thought, can discuss Dallas City of Learning, a partnership of Big Thought, the city of Dallas and Dallas ISD to ensure that all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs that stem summer learning loss. Mark Duebner, director of Aviation, Dallas Love Field, and Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, president and CEO, Frontiers of Flight Museum will be on hand as well.

When: Saturday, June 24, 2017. Event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; best opportunities for interviewing and capturing B roll footage should be from about 10:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. Approximately 1,400 attendees are expected at this year’s event.

Where: Frontiers of Flight Museum, located at 6911 Lemon Ave., Dallas.

What: The Turn Up! event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum will feature exhibits, terminal tours, food and lots of fun for kids, teens and their families, including:

  • Free admission to the Frontier of Flight Museum
  • Touring the Love Field terminal
  • Learning about the teams who keep the airport running
  • Discovering airport equipment and other machines used in keeping the airport humming
  • Sampling food from the concessionaires who serve airport passengers
  • Getting a hands-on look at the Airport Rescue Fire-Fighter Truck and large snow-removal equipment
  • Exploring the Frontier Flyer airplane
  • Viewing a living history performance of prominent pioneers in aviation
  • Building foam gliders and experimenting with wind tubes
  • Also present at the museum will be Big Thought’s Mobile Tech XPerience, a retrofitted RV featuring STEM-related educational activities such as 3D modeling and printing, Lego robot design and construction, programming in Scratch, and other hands-on tech learning for kids to enjoy.
  • The event also will feature musical entertainment onstage, food trucks, exhibitors, on-site registration for Dallas City of Learning workshops and learning sessions, and giveaways.

Details: The Turn Up! at Dallas Love Field is one of the most-anticipated and attended Dallas City of Learning events of the year. It exposes students to the inner workings of a major airport and introduces a wide variety of aviation career opportunities.

For 30 years, education non-profit Big Thought has worked with local and national partners to bring tailored, creative learning opportunities to kids in Dallas neighborhoods with the greatest need. Students in these high-need neighborhoods do not have equitable access to crucial out-of-school education and social and emotional learning time, which creates an opportunity gap. Dallas City of Learning is a citywide initiative to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs to stem summer learning loss. Big Thought works with a powerful network of more than 330 neighborhood, community and city partners to connect students to free or low-cost local resources and opportunities for in-school, out-of-school and summer learning.

https://www.bigthought.org/event/dallas-city-of-learning-turn-up-at-frontiers-of-flight-museum/  https://www.bigthought.org/dallas-city-of-learning/

Media Contact:

Linda Graham, The Power Group

214-498-6313 or [email protected]


Dallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative

The Neighborhood Resource Initiative (NRI) offers partner organizations the opportunity to submit a proposal to receive resources to enhance existing or new summer programming to be connected with Dallas City of Learning during the summer. Resources include but are not limited to: Financial, Curriculum, Transportation, Professional Development and Facilities. Proposals were reviewed and scored on a rolling basis by an outside Advisory Committee.

We asked that proposals address these three main components:
1) target one or more of the Neighborhood Plus, Neighbor Up or Grow South areas,
2) incorporate social-emotional learning
3) help students access high-quality experiences.

Big Thought was proud to convene our Summer 2017 NRI grant recipients for an orientation last week at Dallas Contemporary.

As a mindfulness exercise, we asked our partners to tell us what brings them to this work. Here are some of the things they had to say!

  • Knowing that I have changed many people’s lives for the better
  • Ability to affect a change in the children and their families’ lives in a meaningful way
  • I do what I do to give back and expose people to opportunities they may not normally see
  • A higher calling/purpose
  • Serving the students in the community and seeing lives changed in a positive manner
  • Jesus, Family, Children
  • Passion. Way of giving back to my community and being a positive influence
  • Make our community better! To be the solution and not the problem!
  • I am here to share my talents and gifts with others. I want to make the economic playing field fair by making my students become bilingual or trilingual
  • To inspire, to advocate, to education, to challenge myself & others
  • The look in the children’s eyes when they realize they have learned something new!
  • Desire to share God’s love with youth and families providing access to services, education, and support in various areas of need
  • Legacy responsibility/Knowledge of self & history
  • Knowing kids have potential that is lost because they don’t have the connections or resources to be the greatness that is within them
  • Passionate about the art form of jazz and trying to keep alive with the youth of today
  • The love and respect of young people
  • Impact youth + staff that work for me
  • My childhood upbringing
  • To impact the lives of young students + parents, introduce to technology industry and STEM
  • The need to help people. The gifts I have to help them
  • I enjoy the gift & reward of positively impacting someone else’s life
  • To put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all
  • This is my life’s work. I believe art can change lives and make the world better
  • My momma brought me to this work – to treat others with love + kindness, to engage with others in service + joy, to embrace others in pain + give them hope
  • To spread awareness of issues beyond our narrow sphere – to call people to action & empower them to make a difference
  • Love for learning and sharing of knowledge
  • Being able to show kids a greater educational opportunity
  • Community Sustainability
  • Because I have a passion and purpose to help children discover their “best self”

We are so excited for this summer and to be a part of the amazing work that will be happening in our own city of learning!

Big ThoughtDallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative

Things to Do with Your Kids During the Summer

Summer is an exciting time filled with fun and exploration! It can also be a time for children to learn a new skill, improve their reading ability or explore the arts. At the Dallas ISD and Dallas City of Learning “Discover Summer” Resource Fair last Saturday, families from all across Dallas discovered hundreds of free and fun summer activities in the city for children of all ages. We asked parents and caregivers to share their advice about things to do with kids during the summer to keep them engaged, learning, and having fun! Here are more than 100 of the tips we collected:

1. Give each child one on one time Go to the park, bowling, watch movies, play sports
2. Make kids busy in learning new things
3. Darles ánimo para fuerce a explorar en algo campamento que nos ofrece el estado de Dallas y asistir
4. En las vacaciones de verano repasamos las tareas de las escuelas y después de completar vamos al parque
5. Take kids to summer camp and have children read books over the break
6. Tomar tiempo para hablar con ellos siempre que podemos
7. Read all the time. Turn off TV and the internet
8. Deporte, ciencia, lectura
9. No cable. Go to the library every Sunday to read!
10. Keep them busy in different activities
11. Lectura, baile
12. Jugar con ellos sentarse en la mesa a comer, platicar de nuestros metas
13. Keep them entertain all summer
14. Mantener mucha disciplina en hacer que aprenden los niños
15. Ejercicio
16. For dance and some music .Listen to your kids
17. Be a good example! Read everyday
18. Keep them and listen
19. Go out and keep them active Read more, more fun activities
20. STEM program
21. Reading. Spending time together. Have fun
22. Trabajos manuales. Leer libros
23. Que apoyan a sus hijos con la lectura es muy importante.
24. Exercise. Stay cool.
25. Buscar actividades de calidad No estar en la casa viendo TV o en el teléfono celular
26. Spend time talking with your child Understand their needs and wants
27. Let kids be kids
28. Each child is an individual and should be treated and respected as such
29. Read and Play “every day for 30 minutes”
30. Pasar tiempo con ellos para jugar, leer, pasar caminar en el parque and hacer trabajos en casa
31. Make learning FUN.
32. Que practiquen más deportes y coman saludables
33. Compartir tiempo de calidad
34. Ensenar a cultivar plantas
35. No dejar que los niños se queden todo el día viendo tele. Busquen actividades para enriquecer sus habilidades.
36. Teach them to have the correct attitude towards learning, teachers and school
37. Parents spend time with kids – water park, zoo, science fair
38. Ayudaremos a nuestros hijos a permanecer en el estudio, enfocarse en cosas positivas, estar activos en deportes. Ya que los mantiene enfocados para no tener tiempo en cosas negativas. Dios los bendiga
39. Motivar a nuestros hijos
40. Read
41. Have fun. Read a lot.
42. They should be responsible, cleaning, learning to cook, learning to draw, reading, writing, play different games, Julie
43. La comunicación es muy importante entre padres y hijos
44. Cuidarlos, quererlos, enjoy every momento with them during the summer
45. Read, Relax. Premade meals and snacks Rhoades Elementary
46. Keep child engaged in activities academic and extracurricular
47. Lo más importante es que ellos tengan actividades con otros niños, actividades variedad que no estén encerrados.
48. Dedicar tiempo a los hijos. Jugar con ellos y escucharles – muy importante
49. Visit public libraries where they offer fun free activities by Gabriela
50. Podrían poner clases para ensenar a nadar a los niños
51. Soy abuela y les quiero decir que cuiden de sus hijos e hijas. Son tesoros especial, ámalos Monica
52. Compartir más tiempo con ellos y hacer actividades juntos
53. Have fun, stay active
54. Hay unas escuelas que tienen parques para los niño y no estén encerrados en sus casa
55. Picnics swimming camping walking the dog in the morning
56. Darles el tiempo para jugar y ayudarles en sus tareas
57. Que participan más los papas con los hijos. Que sigan apoyarlos. Ángela
58. Continúa con lo que han aprendido durante el año. Drill with your babies every day for at least 20 minutes William and Alicia
59. Reading, Outside play
60. Advice Play with your kids outside
61. Pasar tiempo en actividades al aire libre sin tanta tecnología y jugar como lo haría en sus niñez
62. Pasar tiempo de calidad con nosotros Hijos son los más importante para nosotros
63. Darles un buen ejemplo Somos un espejo
64. Interact, communicate, stay active
65. Mantenerse activos y menos televisión
66. Visit the library Perot Museum Local camps waterparks or splash pools
67. Keep them active play outside and do homework
68. Take kids to library
69. Animarlos a seguir estudiando durante el verano y buscar campamentos para ellos. Leer.
70. Feed them healthy meals
71. Enjoy the time with your children. Make memories
72. Keep active and involved Also reading continuously
73. Read! Read! Read!
74. Hacer actividades al aire libre
75. Take your kids to campinvention
76. To be healthy. Be creative
77. Actividades físicas Actividades académicas Visita la biblioteca
78. Go on vacation
79. Read
80. Keep them active and safe, have fun, cherish moments that we share
81. Leer , jugar, ir al parque
82. Keep them active
83. Entretenerse sanamente y con vivir con los hijos
84. What we need to with children during the summer is keep them active, motivated and strengthening in every area
85. Find a great camp, use Khan academy, go camping
86. Con vivir con la familia y hijos
87. Enjoy every time with your kids. Have fun.
88. Keep them active and motivated at all times (Smiling Face)
89. Enroll into summer camps reading programs be active in everything they do.
90. Listen to your kids
91. Make children responsible for their actions
92. The advice I give is spend lots of quality time and love them and of course read to them Edith Lopez
93. Listen to you children Keep them active
94. Educate them teach them about caring sharing, bullying Have lots of fun Angela
95. Read every night to and with your child
96. Keep the kids busy
97. Listen to you kids
98. Work life balance Kid development society contribution
99. De dejar de practicar la lectura durante el verano
100. Help your child to read more books and more books
101. Keep them reading EVERDAY!
102. Get your children out of the house and moving
103. Play outside
104. Que se mantengan ocupados en una actividad o deporte
105. Que los niños lean todos los días aunque estén en vacaciones
106. Ensenarlos a respectar a todos los niños
107. Mi mejor consejo es estar al lado de nuestros hijos y brindar el apoyo que necesitan
108. Ensenarle y que no pierden lo que aprendan
109. Biblioteca, leer juntos para ayudar en el aprendizaje
110. Always make time for the kids
111. Be productive and persistent
112. Working on drawing skills
113. Tiempo de calidad con los hijos, escucharlos
114. La televisión no protege y no educa
115. Disfrutar can los hijos cada día.

To discover more fun and free or low-cost summer activities in your neighborhood, visit DallasCityofLearning.org and start exploring!

Big ThoughtThings to Do with Your Kids During the Summer

How To Create a Summer Learning Plan

Chances are that whatever your student might be interested in, there is somewhere in Dallas this summer where they can go to do it! Dallas City of Learning is a citywide initiative to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs. We encourage you to sit down with your student this spring and create a summer learning plan.

What is a Summer Learning Plan?

A summer learning plan is simply a list of activities, events or programs that your student can participate in over the summer. You and your student can use our free worksheet to create a summer learning plan together. Click here to download.

Why Create a Summer Learning Plan?

Students who participate in learning and enrichment experiences over the summer see significantly more gains in reading and math scores during the school year versus those who do not.  

By discovering and developing their interests, young people can engage with what they are passionate about and can see how things they are interested in are connected to other activities and career paths.

What is Dallas City of Learning?

Dallas City of Learning lets you search through hundreds of free or low-cost summer programs, events and learning experiences that match your child’s interest in a single, easy-to-use website: DallasCityofLearning.org.

From robotics to zoology to workplace internships, Dallas City of Learning provides a wide variety of enriching opportunities for youth of all ages to find new interests, develop new skills, and increase their academic gains achieved during the school year. In other words, it’s a one-stop-shop for summer learning.

Additionally, all Dallas ISD students will be given a Dallas ISD Discover Summer Catalog that they can browse to find opportunities in their area. Visit www.dallasisd.org/summerlearning to learn more about summer opportunities within Dallas ISD.

Big ThoughtHow To Create a Summer Learning Plan

Making Creativity Count: New Year Wishes for Big Thought Kids

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

There’s no stopping the New Year train now. The holidays are rapidly becoming a rear view mirror memory and January 2017 is already cruising along. We have about 360 days to make a mark, to make our imagination and creativity count.

So with that in mind, we at Big Thought are of course thinking of the kids that we serve. We have those young lives foremost in our hearts. Our mission, our programs, our efforts are all about enriching their abilities to learn. We are ramping up our six programs – Creative Solutions, Dallas City of Learning, DaVerse Lounge, Learning Partners, Library Live! and Thriving Minds – for another year of greatness.

Some of our Big Thought staffers got to pondering those opportunities for so many kids in Dallas. They filled in the rest of this sentence:

My New Year wish for our kids is…

…that they find the spark that ignites their passion and the world unfurls its red carpet on their path to pursuing that passion.
Leila Wright, Senior Manager, Programs

…that they regularly experience joy.
Anne Leary, Major Gifts Officer

…to lead extraordinary journeys in life with harmony, hope and love.
Mary Hernandez, Community Engagement Specialist

…that their imagination be sparked so they experience the joys of life-long learning.
LeAnn Binford, Director of Big Thought Institute

…that they will find inspiration and a spark that ignites a passion.
Brandon McKnight, Graphic Designer

…that they never suffer, and live a happy life full of cool adventures, laughter, love and childish play for their rest of their beautiful lives.
Jose Sosa, Communications Manager

…that they feel successful in at least one way, each and every day.
Kristina Dove, Program Manager, Partner Relations

Photo credit: Brandon McKnight/Big Thought

Big ThoughtMaking Creativity Count: New Year Wishes for Big Thought Kids

Big Thought Intern Jesus Cantú is MIT Bound

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

The news is spectacular: Jesus Cantú, a former Thriving Minds student and three-time summer intern at Big Thought, has been accepted into the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He starts classes during the Fall 2017 semester.

Jesus, 17, is a glowing example of the prospering power of exposing kids to creative learning environments. Cantú was born in Laredo and raised in Mexico until his fourth birthday when he came to Dallas. The Oak Cliff resident remembers his involvement in Big Thought’s Thriving Minds program when he was in elementary school, and later summer camps at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and the Latino Cultural Center. It set the stage for his educational trajectory. Come May 2017 he will graduate from Dallas’ magnet campus School of Science and Engineering.

As a Big Thought summer intern in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Jesus was an instrumental force on the ground during the many community events surrounding the Dallas City of Learning initiative. In fact, he was the go-to guy for translations. A huge part of his role was translating English to Spanish – and vice versa – to keep parents and kids abreast of DCoL.

“I felt really good helping out,” says the upcoming Nuclear Science & Engineering MIT freshman. “I saw a lot of kids that were like me when I was their age. My mom didn’t know English that well so it was hard for her to find programs for me. I saw similar kids in similar situations where parents spoke no English.”

That’s a huge soft skill right there. Jesus learned true empathy and resilience. He saw himself in those childhood mirrors. When it came time to craft his MIT admissions package, Jesus was one-up on the game.

“Writing about being a low-income kid able to take courses and attend different camps because of Big Thought,” he said, “and then later being able to help other students get those same educational opportunities was honestly such a huge part of my application.”

During his last two summers with Big Thought, Jesus was part of the Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. Nattily attired in a professional suit, Jesus attended the Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program Luncheon, held Aug. 1, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

“I want to thank everyone at Big Thought, because without all of the internships you all offered me these past years I couldn’t have made it this far,” he said. “I am grateful for everything throughout these years of growing up in Dallas. Big Thought made this possible for me. I didn’t let any of your efforts go to waste.”

MIT is lucky to have you, Jesus. Big Thought wishes you continued success.

Pictured: Jesus Cantú with Erin Offord, Big Thought Senior Director, Program Implementation. Photo by Mario Tarradell/Big Thought.


Big ThoughtBig Thought Intern Jesus Cantú is MIT Bound