KSDE Weekly

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To date, 2023 Sunflower Summer visits 43% higher than 2022

To date, 2023 Sunflower Summer visits 43% higher than 2022

A total of 70,686 adults and children have visited Sunflower Summer venues from May 26-June 18. This is an increase of 30,306 people – or 43% – over the same time frame in 2022. 

The educational program promotes learning and family engagement and is funded by federal COVID-19 money. The 2023 program will run through Aug. 13 or until funding runs out, whichever comes first. 

There have been 41,597 children and 29,089 adults, representing 19,374 families from all 105 Kansas counties, who have participated in the 2023 program to date. 

From Monday, June 12, to Sunday, June 18, 112 participating venues were visited. The top venues in week four were Sedgwick County Zoo (5,630); Exploration Place (3,322); Botanica (2,636); Field Station: Dinosaurs (2,181); Tanganyika Wildlife Park - two days only, (1,316); Rolling Hills Zoo (1,164); Museum of World Treasures (1,007); and Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center (1,004). Rounding out the top venues were The Cosmosphere; Sunset Zoo; Children’s Discovery Center; The Garage Automotive Museum; Sternberg Museum of Natural History; and the Oz Museum. 

The 2023 Sunflower Summer program offers summer camps and enrichment activities, too.  

The Kansas 4-H Insect Spectacular two-day entomology workshop took place June 16-17 through K-State Research and Extension. The objective of the event was to encourage curiosity and the sharing of knowledge and for attendees to learn about collecting, storing, identifying and pinning insects for exhibit. 

About 50 students attended. 

The Kansas 4-H Discovery Days took place June 7-9 on the Kansas State University campus. The event helped students ages 13-18 learn new ideas, techniques and skills they can use personally, as well as in their 4-H clubs or groups. The event also helped prepare youth to make informed decisions about career choices and college; enhanced their personal growth by giving attendees opportunities to develop responsibility and confidence; an developed their college and career readiness skills. 

About 250 students attended the three-day event. 

Amy Collins, a program coordinator with K-State Research and Extension's 4-H Youth Development team, said Sunflower Summer funding provided learning opportunities for youth who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend. 

“This is the first time Kansas 4-H has offered events through Sunflower Summer, and it was an incredible experience,” Collins said. “Most of our 4-H state events are open to all youth participants, not just those who are enrolled in 4-H. Sunflower Summer allowed us to potentially reach an audience we would have not otherwise reached, and in turn, allowed youth an opportunity to participate in our events that they may not have heard about otherwise. It was definitely a win-win on everyone’s part!” 

More information, including a full list of 2023 participating venues and a frequently asked questions section, is available at sunflowersummer.org.  

Posted: Jun 22, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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