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Sunflower Summer program to return for summer of educational fun

Sunflower Summer
Sunflower Summer(Kansas State Department of Education)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 11:43 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Sunflower Summer program will return for another year of educational fun for Kansas students on May 28.

The Kansas State Department of Education says in a release that the Sunflower Summer program allowed more than 71,000 Kansans to access museums, zoos, historic landmarks and outdoor locations last summer.

The KSDE said the event will kick off again this summer on May 28 with even more venues to help promote family engagement and keep students learning during the summer months.

The Department noted that the program has been funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for students. The event will run from May 28 through Aug. 14.

During this time, KSDE said adults can visit the Sunflower Summer website to learn more about the program. It said the updated app will be available to download on mobile phones and tablet devices on May 28. Those who kept the app from last summer will not need to download another copy, however, they will receive an electronic notice to simply update their app to the 2022 version.

KSDE said the Sunflower Summer app is available for both iPhone and Android users and 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.”

The Department said each Kansas child pre-K to 18-years-old, as well as students in 18-21-year-old programs, and up to two accompanying adults can access a ticket voucher to each participating attraction in the app. Once a location has been chosen, it said tickets can be claimed within the app. When attendees are ready to enter, its aid the ticket can be activated and presented to the ticket taker.

After the first use, KSDE said the Sunflower Summer passport will be stamped and the ticket will no longer be accessible.

In addition to the 90 attractions throughout Kansas, KSDE said the 2022 program will also offer the following bonus events:

  • Sunflower Summer Family Campout - Kansas State Parks
    • Thursday, July 7, at Milford State Park
    • Join staff for an overnight camp loaded with fun activities for the family to enjoy, including fishing, archery, canoeing, campfires, 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 family from the berm seating area and a personal tour of the new baseball museum - which opens 15 minutes after the last pitch. The offer is only good for one game per family. Riverfront Stadium is home to the Wichita Wind Surge, a Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The new museum pays homage to the history of baseball in the Wichita community stemming 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
    • Join staff for the grand celebration in honor of Dodge City’s 150th anniversary. Fun activities will include Old West reenactments, new exhibits, demos, a cowboy band, storytelling, an ice cream social and more.
  • Annual Thresher Show - Bird City
    • Saturday, July 30
    • Celebrate Kansas’ rural heritage and honor the nation’s military men and women. The day will feature military vehicles and equipment, military reenactments from World War II, demonstrations, steam engine races, tractor pulls, kid’s activities and more. Families will be able to check out 14 steam traction engines, 30+ buildings full of farm-related items and more than 200 antique tractors.

To see a list of the 90 other participating attractions, click HERE.

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