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“Sunflower Summer” Program Proving Popular

Todd PittengerJune 13, 2022

A summer program that allows for free admission to educational attractions across Kansas, including things like the Rolling Hills Zoo and the Eisenhower Presidential Library is proving popular across Kansas.

The Sunflower Summer Program, which is being funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, through Aug. 14.

According to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s Office, the educational Sunflower Summer program promoting family engagement and student learning during the summer has already had 28,726 adults and children representing 7,949 families participating in the program since its launch Memorial Day Weekend. The turnout surpasses what the program saw during its first two weeks last year, the program’s first summer in existence.

“I’m so glad more Kansas families are getting out and experiencing all that Kansas has to offer – from our museums and zoos, to our historic landmarks and nature centers,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “My Administration will continue supporting programs like Sunflower Summer to prevent student learning loss and to ensure our kids have an educational – and fun — summer.”

89% of participating venues have had Sunflower Summer visitors in the first 16 days.

“We’re so pleased to have partnered with Governor Laura Kelly, as well as other agencies, again this year to offer Sunflower Summer,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “Last summer, more than 43,100 students stayed engaged in learning throughout the summer months, and we’re on track to see even higher numbers this year. This program is not only beneficial to students and families, it is also boosting travel and tourism within the state.”

To participate in Sunflower Summer, adults can visit www.sunflowersummer.org to find more information and instructions for downloading or updating the app, which is available for both iPhone and Android users. An adult will need to register their family members and include their county and school district.

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.

In addition to 90 attractions, this year’s Sunflower Summer program is offering the following bonus events:

  • Thursday, July 7 – Sunflower Summer Family Campout – Kansas State Parks, 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 1920s teams (the Bulldozers and the Red Stockings), the Negro League and much more.
  • Friday, June 17 – 150thAnniversary of Dodge City, Celebration at Boot Hill Museum
    Come join us for the grand celebration in honor of Dodge City’s 150th anniversary. Fun activities include Old West reenactments, new exhibits, demonstrations, cowboy band, storytelling, ice cream social and more.
  • Saturday, July 30 – Annual Thresher Show – Bird City
    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.

Funding for the Sunflower Summer program is limited, and tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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