TOPEKA – An education program that gave more than 71,000 Kansans last summer free access to museums, zoos, historic sites and outdoor venues kicked off May 28 with even more venues to help promote family engagement and to allow students to continue learning during the summer months.
The Sunflower Summer program, which is funded with federal COVID-19 money to provide summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, will continue through Aug. 14.
During the summer months, adults can visit sunflowersummer.org to learn more about the Kansas State Department of Education program (including a full list of participating sites). The updated app is now available for download on phones or tablets. People who kept the app on their device last summer don’t need to download another copy; they will receive an email notice to simply update their app to the 2022 version. The app is available for iPhone and Android users. An adult will need to list their family members and include their county and school district.
“This program has helped more than 43,100 students stay engaged in learning throughout the summer months,” Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson said. “It allowed families to bond and some families to take a vacation they wouldn’t have had the resources for otherwise. It also boosted travel and tourism in Kansas. Families have told us the Sunflower Summer program has introduced them to new activities they’ve never tried before, and sites have noted that the program attracts summer visitors from areas of the state they don’t typically see. not. We are delighted to be able to offer Sunflower Summer again this year.
Every Kansas child from kindergarten to 18, as well as students in the 18-21 programs, and up to two accompanying adults can access a ticket voucher for each of the participating attractions in the Sunflower Summer app. Once a location has been selected, tickets can be claimed within the app. When attendees are ready to enter, the ticket can be activated and presented to the ticket taker.
After first use, the Sunflower Summer passport (in the app) will be stamped and the ticket will no longer be accessible.
In addition to 90 attractions, this year’s Sunflower Summer program features bonus events, including a family campsite (with fishing, archery, canoeing, s’mores, and more) on July 7 at Milford State Park, Sunflower Summer Sundays with the Wichita Wind Surge – including Baseball Museum Tour – June 26 or July 17 (offer valid for one game per family), Dodge City Boot Hill Museum 150th Anniversary Celebration June 17 and the annual Thresher Show in Bird City on July 30.
Funding for the Sunflower Summer program is limited and tickets are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.