Topeka, Kan. — An educational program that allowed more than 71,000 Kansans last summer to access museums, zoos, historic landmarks and outdoor locations for free will kick off May 28 with even more venues to help promote family engagement and keep students learning during the summer months.
The Sunflower Summer Program, which is being funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, will launch May 28 and run through Aug. 14.
During this time, adults can visit sunflowersummer.org to learn more about the program. The updated app will be available to download May 28 to phones or tablet devices. People who retained the app on their device from last summer do not need to download another copy – they will receive an electronic notice to simply update their app to the 2022 version. The app is available for both iPhone and Android users. An adult will need to register their family members and include their county and school district.
“This program helped more than 43,100 students stay engaged in learning throughout the summer months,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “It provided families a chance to bond and afforded some families the opportunity to take a vacation they otherwise wouldn’t have had the resources for. It also stimulated travel and tourism within Kansas. We heard from families that the Sunflower Summer program introduced them to new activities they hadn’t previously tried, and venues noted that the program drew summer visitors from areas of the state they usually don’t see. We’re so pleased to be able to offer Sunflower Summer again this year.”
Each Kansas child pre-K-18 years of age, as well as students in 18-21-year-old programs, and up to two accompanying adults may access a ticket voucher to 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 the first use, the Sunflower Summer passport (in the app) will be stamped, and the ticket will no longer be accessible.
More information, including a full list of participating venues and a frequently asked questions section, is available at www.sunflowersummer.org.
In addition to 90 attractions, this year’s Sunflower Summer program is offering the following bonus events:
- Sunflower Summer Family Campout – Kansas State Parks
- Thursday, July 7, Milford State Park.
Join us for an overnight camp loaded with fun activities for the family to enjoy, including fishing, archery, canoeing, campfire, s’mores and more.
- Sunflower Summer Sundays with Wichita Surge at Riverfront Stadium
- 1:05 p.m. Sunday, June 26: Wichita Wind Surge vs. San Antonio
- 1:05 p.m. Sunday, July 17: Wichita Wind Surge vs. Arkansas
Enjoy a Sunday game with your family from the berm seating area and a personal tour of the new baseball museum. (Museum doors open 15 minutes after last pitch). Offer good for one game per family on June 26 or July 17. Riverfront Stadium is home to the Wichita Wind Surge, Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The new baseball museum pays homage to the history of baseball in the Wichita community originating from the 1920’s teams (the Bulldozers and the Red Stockings), the Negro league and much more.
- 150th Anniversary of Dodge City, Celebration at Boot Hill Museum
- Friday, June 17
Come join us for the grand celebration in honor of Dodge City’s 150th anniversary. Fun activities include Old West reenactments, new exhibits, demos, cowboy band, storytelling, ice cream social and more.
- Annual Thresher Show – Bird City
- Saturday, July 30
Celebrate our rural heritage and honor our nation’s military men and women. The day will feature military vehicles and equipment, military reenactments from WWll, demonstrations, steam engine races, tractor pulls, kid’s activities and more. Families can check out 14 steam traction engines, 30-plus buildings full of farm-related items and more than 200 antique tractors.
- Saturday, July 30
Funding for the Sunflower Summer program is limited, and tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.