Sunflower Summer program gives students chance to learn while visiting attractions

A new program will help children stay engaged in learning throughout the summer months while spending quality time with family members and friends touring some of Kansas’ greatest attractions – all for free.

The Sunflower Summer program, which is being funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, is a collaboration between the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research, and Greenbush Education Service Center.

“This is a win-win for Kansas students and Kansas attractions,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “The Sunflower Summer program can help enrich summer learning and is an excellent opportunity for students and families to go on educational adventures together while supporting nearly 70 Kansas attractions.”

Adults can visit www.sunflowersummer.org to download the Sunflower Summer mobile app to their phone or tablet device. The app is now available for both iPhone and Android users. An adult will need to register their family members and include their county and school district. There are nearly 70 attractions to choose from across the state, including zoos, museums, historic landmarks, libraries and outdoor locations.

Within the Sunflower Summer app is a passport that allows participants to track where they have visited on their adventures.

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.

Child care facilities also can access and use the app for field trips. Each Kansas student (pre-K through 12th-grade) and up to two adults may access a ticket voucher to each of the participating attractions in the Sunflower Summer app. After the first use, the Sunflower Summer passport (in the app) will be stamped, and the ticket will no longer be accessible.

More information and a frequently-asked-questions section are available at www.sunflowersummer.org.

The Sunflower Summer program runs through Aug. 15. Funding for this program is limited, and tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

This project is developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, #S425U210002, as part of an award totaling $553,723,455, with 0 percent financed with non-governmental or non-federal sources. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Participating attractions are as follows:

Attractions and Landmarks

Cosmosphere, Curious Minds Discovery Zone, Evel Knievel Museum, Exploration Place, Kansas Aviation Museum, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Kansas State Capitol, Lee Richardson Zoo, Mid-America Air Museum, Rolling Hills Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, The Topeka Zoo and Wright Park Zoo;

History

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Boot Hill Museum Inc., Brown v. Board of Education, National Historic Site, Eisenhower Presidential Library***, El Quartelejo Museum & Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection, Fick Fossil & History Museum, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Johnson County Museum, Kansas Museum of History, Kiowa County Historical Museum & Soda, Fountain Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Mid-America All-Indian Museum, Miners Hall Museum, Nicodemus National Historic Site, Old Cowtown Museum, Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site, Pony Express Barn & Museum, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and The Big Well Museum;

Art and Theater

Prairie Museum of Art & History and Red Barn Studio Museum Theatre in the Park

Nature Areas

Botanica – The Wichita Gardens, Cedar Bluff State Park, Cheney State Park, Clinton State Park – OK Kids, Cowley Lake Waterfall, Crawford State Park, Cross Timbers State Park, El Dorado State Park, Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center, Fall River State Park, Flint Hills Discovery Center, Flint Hills Trail State Park, Hillsdale State Park, Lehigh Portland Trails, Little Jerusalem State Park, Lovewell State Park, Meade State Park, Milford State Park, Monument Rocks Natural Area, Perry State Park, Pomona State Park, Santa Fe Trail Center Museum & Research Library, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Tuttle Creek State Park, Webster State Park, and Wyandotte County Lake Park;

Libraries

Clay Center Carnegie Library, Hays Public Library, Hoisington Public Library, Lawrence Public Library, Salina Public Library and Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

***Requires reservation online through their website prior to entry with code SUMMERFUN.

More information

For addresses and more information about venues, visit www.sunflowersummer.org.

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