Dallas ISD, SMU, Big Thought and City of Dallas to Share Insights From the Dallas City of Learning Program on February 24, 2023

This article first appeared in Business Wire.

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Big Thought, Dallas ISD, SMU and the City of Dallas are hosting the 2023 State of Summer: Building Skills, Building Futures community event where they will share insights regarding the impact of summer and out-of-school time learning on February 24, 2023 at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas at 5:00pm. This is an in-person only event.

Dallas City of Learning is a key program for the DFW region focused on the whole child, the whole year to help stem learning loss and empower our youth to learn the skills and qualities that will empower them to succeed in the CreatEconomy. In partnership with more than 320 community partners, the program connects students to the city’s most valuable out-of-school time resources. By sixth grade, each limited resource student has already missed out on 6,000 hours of learning compared to their more affluent peers. The summer months are especially challenging, as students lose two to four months of academic skills in the extended time away from school.

Dallas City of Learning program participation showed positive signs of rebounding from the effects of the pandemic, climbing closer in reach to pre-pandemic scale. In summer 2022, over sixty partner organizations provided more than 1,300 program opportunities within the Dallas City of Learning ecosystem, serving 47,503 youth and accounting for over 1.4 million cumulative learning hours.

The ongoing longitudinal evaluation by Southern Methodist University’s Center on Research & Evaluation, looking specifically at the academic achievement as of summer 2021 for students engaged in DCoL versus non-DCoL participants, shows encouraging indicators that students engaging in summer learning are doing better post-pandemic than their peers. SMU CORE’s Executive Director, Dr. Annie Wright, will share details of these findings at this year’s State of Summer.

Speakers sharing program insights include:

Keynote speaker Dr. Stephanie Elizade, Superintendent for Dallas ISD
Greg MacPherson, CEO of the Big Thought Institute
Annie Wright, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center on Research and Evaluation, Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University
Paul Buckley, President of D Custom
Emcee Sergio Antonio Garcia, Director Systems for Big Thought

“The culture of learning and building skills is changing. What we are learning in school coupled with what we are learning in our homes, our communities, and through our cultural experiences is making that change possible,” says Sergio Garcia, Director of Systems for Big Thought. “By valuing and acknowledging the skills that we learn through our cultural experiences, we begin to build new futures and opportunities for youth who may not have typical learning journeys. Our youth see value in themselves and, in turn, become valuable contributors to our society and culture. We can start to build bridges to opportunities by building the skills that our cultures provide us and to empower us to build better futures.”

To register for the State of Summer event: https://bigthought.org/SoS23

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 700 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.

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. www.bigthought.org

Jacqueline Chen Valencia
[email protected]