Dallas City of Learning

DCOL is a citywide initiative that ensures students have access to a high quality summer learning program to prevent summer learning loss.

The program provides out of school summer activities for kids. Subjects span across arts, culture and STEM learning system for grades K-12.

Getting Started

What sparks your interest?

Dallas City of Learning brings together hundreds of programs, activities and events for you to explore your interests and pursue what you love.

Just go to dallascityoflearning.org and you are free to explore. You can browse by topic or search by a specific interest. You can also search for activities by neighborhood or zip code and whether they are in person or online, free or paid by age and by date.

Search Programs

Feeding curiosity

Dallas City of Learning focuses on connecting youth with low- and no-cost learning experiences that cultivate creativity, build social and emotional skills and boost academic achievement. Learners choose from an array of digital and in-person activities throughout the city that spark their interests and feed their curiosity.

Check it out

Reversing learning loss

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. Along the way, we spark imaginations, inspire a drive to learn, and help reverse cumulative learning loss.

By partnering with the Center on Research and Evaluation at SMU, we are evaluating the quality and effectiveness of this initiative and tracking the year-over-year impact of summer learning for young people who attend Dallas ISD schools.

Impact of Dallas City of Learning

36665 youth served in summer 2020
1049 unique programs offered in summer 2020
95% of programs are free
9.1 Rating by students for overall program quality
9.4 Rating by parents for overall program quality

With every 10 days of Dallas City of learning programming:

25% elementary school students are 25% more likely to pass the STAAR math exam
35% elementary school students are 35% more likely to pass the STAAR reading exam
40% high school students are 40% more likely to pass the English 1 End of Course exam

Research-Backed Initiative

Big Thought and Dallas ISD, along with four other urban public-private partnerships, participated in a multi-year research study funded by the Wallace Foundation to develop and implement summer learning programs to help close the opportunity gap. This initiative, referred to as the National Summer Learning Project (NSLP), lead to a series of comprehensive reports and strategy tools that are helping communities throughout the country increase the access, dosage and quality of their summer learning opportunities.

Each year, Big Thought also works with the Southern Methodist University Center on Research and Evaluation to evaluate Dallas City of Learning for access, dosage and quality indicators that impact academic achievement and attendance.

Check out some of the research articles and whitepapers that cover or were influenced by Dallas City of Learning.

How to support dallas city of learning

We would love for you to support this important work. Donations can be made safely and securely online, and you can designate your gift specifically for this program

Make a gift to Dallas City of Learning.

THE DCOL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The DCOL Advisory Committee plays an important role in the identification, development, implementation and evaluation of key DCOL strategies and tactics. The committee’s work ensures that DCoL initiatives connect to larger community-wide strategies.

Learn more about the committee and its members

THE LEARNING PATHWAYS COHORT

The learning pathways project is a design project using digital resources to create more visibility into the skills that young people are developing out of school.

Join a small cohort of DCOL partners and gain access to training on the digital badge platform, participate in regular feedback sessions with members of the Big Thought team and more.

Learn more about Learning Pathways

Join the dallas city of learning team

Instructors are hired throughout the year. Check our Careers page to see current opportunities.

Learn More