Dive into Summer Learning: Time to go to the Perot!

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By, Elysse Alvarado

Dallas City of Learning believes that summer learning shouldn’t be confined to a classroom. Instead, students should be encouraged to learn by getting their hands dirty and interacting with the world around them.

Through DCOL’s partnership with KERA Learn, students focus on STEM learning through projects such as planting herb gardens, creating art projects using recycled items and even designing their own airplanes! Students at West Dallas SOARS dived into summer science learning by visiting the Perot Natural History and Science Museum.

Discovering new things at the Perot Museum!Dallas City of Learning helps close the opportunity gap by providing high quality education programming. DCOL also aims to connect children to their community in unique and fun ways. Visiting local institutions gives students the chance to further connect with their home city and shows them that learning can be fun. The day began with an IMAX movie about the famed Galapagos Islands. They learned how the islands were created and about the diverse animals that inhabit the islands. Then it was time to explore the Perot!

Students diving into summer learning at Perot.

From learning about native Texas critters to marveling over dinosaur fossils, the day was filled with plenty of wonder and lots of giggles. But, who better to ask about their day then students themselves? Here is what students at Dallas City of Learning had to say about their day.

What was your favorite part of the day?

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Summer is a great time to jump into learning! Fight the “summer slide” by sending your child to a great summer learning program or exploring Dallas through exciting, educational opportunities

Big ThoughtDive into Summer Learning: Time to go to the Perot!

Imagination Takes Flight: Dallas City of Learning Turn Up! at Love Field

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By Carson Bolding

This past Saturday, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and Dallas Love Field Airport opened up their doors to children and families for Dallas City of Learning’s 5th Annual Turn Up! at Love Field. The event featured free admission to the museum, tours of the new terminal at the airport, opportunities to build foam gliders and experiment with wind tubes, food samples from airport concessionaires, and more.

The Turn Up was hosted by Dallas City of Learning, a public-private citywide partnership between the City of Dallas and Dallas ISD, managed by Big Thought. DCOL brings high-quality summer learning programs to students across the city to stem summer learning loss. Last summer, Big Thought partnered with SMU’s Center on Research and Evaluation to evaluate the impact of the initiative. They found that over 23,000 Dallas ISD students participated in DCOL programs and consistently showed a higher GPA at the beginning of the new school year than they had the previous year.    


The Dallas City of Learning Turn Up! at Love Field promotes summer learning by engaging students in a new environment and exposing them to a wide variety of aviation career possibilities. This year, kids had the chance to explore the cockpits of airplanes at the museum and make slime with Seeds to STEM. The terminal tour pointed out the spot on the tarmac where President LBJ became the first president to be sworn in on this side of the Mississippi, and Big Thought’s Mobile Tech XPerience was on-site to teach kids about robot design and computer programming. There was something for everyone!

Closing the opportunity gap is a team effort. Every year, the Dallas City of Learning Turn Up! at Love Field brings community partners together to provide valuable resources and opportunities to the young people who need them most.

Big ThoughtImagination Takes Flight: Dallas City of Learning Turn Up! at Love Field


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]


One Line Wonders: Powerful Prose That Cleanses Souls

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Oh those one line wonders. They come at you fast and furious at DaVerse Lounge. We’re talking about young, expressive poets who get up on the platform, face the mic and unleash powerful prose that cleanses their souls as it enlightens the audience.

The third DaVerse Lounge event of the 12th season, held December 9, 2016 at Life in Deep Ellum, is certainly no different. The evening drew 300 readers and receivers, with 13 schools represented and plenty of emotional literacy merriment. We even had Gopal Raman, the Southwest Region winner of the National Student Poets Program 2016, in the crowd as well as on the stage.

So without further ado, here are a dozen one line wonders to remind us that personal poetry covers all cathartic bases.   

“She strokes my head and pats my back, bringing back memories of when I was young”
– An ode to mothers
Jamyah, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School

“I guarantee you I’m going to make it there 10 minutes early because rush hour traffic doesn’t apply to me”
– A humorous manifesto to the self deep inside
Vertiz, High school graduate

“Doesn’t it feel like I’m a rapper because I talk too much”
– Stream of consciousness self-expression
Jaziel, Uplift Luna Preparatory – Secondary

“Have you ever met that one person that makes your heart beat and puts air in your lungs?”
– The heightened state of ripe love
Semira, John Horn High School

“Our own opinion is the only one that should matter”
– Life exasperates as it exhilarates
Elizabeth, Oliver W. Holmes Middle School

“I dissolve in tea, life dissolves in me”
– Tea as a metaphor for life
Gopal, St. Mark’s School of Texas

“I wrote this just to get funky, just to get funky on this microphone”
– A tribute to great and powerful musical voices
Camika Spencer, Teacher, Lancaster Middle School

“So I take pictures of my big beautiful smile with a dog face…that’s my hashtag selfie life”
– Life as experienced through hashtags
Johanna, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School

“The moon was the one who lit my way through darkness, the one who appeared when I needed someone”
– A love letter to the moon
Casey, Thomas Jefferson High School

“People look at me like I’m crazy, but I am nothing but space”
– An existential look at life
Francisco, Oliver W. Holmes Middle School

“We keep preaching about peace, but keep using a piece”
– A lament about violence in our current society
Julissa, Cedar Valley College

“My panic attacks were not scheduled like doctor’s appointments”
– The dissection of an emotional crisis
Ellery, The Novus Academy graduate

DaVerse Lounge thanks TACA, Dallas Mavericks, State Farm, Liberty Burger, and the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation for their generous support.

Photos by Can Turkyilmaz @turk_studio; collage presentation by Mario Tarradell

Big ThoughtOne Line Wonders: Powerful Prose That Cleanses Souls