Summer Thanks for Another Successful Dallas City of Learning Season

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Summer isn’t officially over yet. That’s right, you can still wear shorts and flip-flops to the cool pool party. But kids are back in school and Dallas City of Learning is in wrap-up and assess mode.

So this is a huge thank you to our neighborhood partners, to the Dallas ISD Summer Achievers Academy, to another triumphant Creative Solutions summer program at Southern Methodist University, to great Library Live! programming, to so many engaged students, to the many community sites that opened their doors to children, and to the tireless Big Thought and Dallas City of Learning staff that hauled swag, laptops, banners, signage, and welcoming smiles. Big Thought, with the help and guidance of approximately 60 partners, delivered or supported programming at over 100 locations serving approximately 16,000 students.

The 2016 Dallas City of Learning program numbers are still trickling in and final tabulations are in calculation, but we do have preliminary estimates that already underscore an active and successful season for our kids:

  • 5 Turn Up! Events with 4,900 student participants
  • 42 Pop Up! and Mobile Tech XPerience Events with 2,500 student participants
  • 1,776 Dallas Summer Achievers Academy students at 8 sites
  • 80 students in our Creative Solutions summer program at Southern Methodist University
  • 36 sites for Turn Up!, Pop Up! and MXP Events
  • 46 sites in the DCoL Neighborhood Resource Initiative with 3,150 students served
  • 46 Neighborhood Partners
  • 29 Library Live! sites with 1,600 students served

We want to extend another shout-out of gratitude to our super dedicated neighborhood partners, many of which were spotlighted on our Big Thought and Dallas City of Learning websites. If you missed those spotlights, here’s a quick recap:

“Our participation in Dallas City of Learning is exposing our scholars to engaging robotics programs, radio and TV production, as well as enhancing their reading comprehension skills,” says KD Brown, Program Manager, Frazier Revitalization. Read the Frazier story.

“My vision for one aspect of the future of education is that it becomes a platform to support every child to be connected to quality after school programs and developmental experiences,” says Antoine Joyce, City Leader, All Stars Project of Dallas. Read the All Stars story.

“Summer learning is extremely important because it helps kids continue to work on their academic skills without missing a beat,” says Lori Carey, Community Engagement Manager at SPARK! Read the SPARK! story.

“Summer provides students a chance to explore interests and access opportunities that aren’t available in a classroom setting,” says Janet Morrison, Director, EAGLE Scholars. Read the EAGLE Scholars story.

“Our youth enjoy going to the DCoL website and finding ArtsVision programs on the site,” says Fran Jefferey Anderson, Artistic Director, ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts Program. “They think it is cool that someone thinks enough of them to create something so ‘neat’ as DCoL.” Read the ArtsVision story.

“Summer learning is extremely important because it highlights the biggest tool we have to fight poverty – education!” says Reverend Donald Parish, Youth Pastor, True Lee Missionary Baptist Church. Read the True Lee story.

“Our vision and passion at Bishop’s Camp for the future of education is to teach the child as a whole,” says Jessica Bell, Program Director, Bishop’s Camp. Read the Bishop’s Camp story.

“Partnering with Dallas City of Learning enables us to reach a wider audience,” says JaMonica Washington, Youth Development Director, Lakewest Family YMCA, “and helps the teens find different things that may interest them from a variety of different activities.” Read the Lakewest YMCA story.

“Summer learning programs have the potential to help children and youth improve their academic learning and other outcomes,” says Keith Vinson, Vice President of Operations, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Read the Moorland and Oak Cliff YMCA story.

“The vision and passion for the future of education is to create lifelong conservationist and environmental stewards in every student,” says Shannon Linton, Youth Learning Supervisor, Dallas Zoo. Read the Dallas Zoo story.

“Dallas City of Learning is an ideal partner for Dallas Youth Poets,” says Joaquin Zihuatanejo, Founder, Dallas Youth Poets. “Together we can spread the word about each other’s movements. And both movements exist to empower youth.” Read the Dallas Youth Poets story.  

“Every child – every student – deserves an education that will prepare him or her for the future,” says Keith Mondy, Executive Director, Project Still I Rise.“ Read the Project Still I Rise story.

“Minds are like plants that need to be watered,” says Audrey Turner, Assistant Program Specialist, The Writer’s Garret. Read The Writer’s Garret story.

“We consider education to be an inalienable right and with it a surety of equal and equitable access for all children,” says Ronald Oliver, Director, Fine Arts Nth. Read the Fine Arts Nth story.

“The vision for Tackle Summer Slide is that students, families and communities have access to the knowledge, resources and opportunities to close the reading achievement gap,” says Jonathan Feinstein, Director of Community Engagement, Commit! Partnership. Read the Tackle Summer Slide story.

“My vision for education is to be able to get each child outside to experience the power of nature first hand,” says Kayleigh Medeiros, Education Manager, Trinity River Audubon Center. Read the TRAC story.

We thank our many Dallas City of Learning donors. For a complete list of DCoL donors, please visit

Photo by Can Turkyilmaz @turk_studio