Sunflower Summer: Kansas app gives students free admission to zoos, museums and more

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Kansas City, Kan. — Kansas students can now get free admission to zoos, museums and other attractions across the state. 

The Kansas Department of Education has launched Sunflower Summer, a new app that acts as a virtual passport for families to explore local attractions. 

Once the app is downloaded, parents can register their children to receive a free ticket for up to 70 different attractions throughout the state. 

The Sunflower Summer app includes a map of all participating attractions.  

The new program is being funded by federal COVID-19 money. KSDE spokesperson Denise Kahler said the goal is to help students prepare to return to the classroom this fall. 

“We were looking for something that really would address a couple of things that came out of the pandemic. One was, we’ve got some unfinished learning that we need to address,” Kahler said.

“The other is really that we need to address those lost social and emotional connections that our children had during the pandemic when they were at home or doing remote learning.” 

After the initial visit, the digital passport will appear to be stamped and can no longer be used for that location. The app will store a list of places each student has visited over the summer. 

Each Kansas student enrolled in pre-K through 12th grade is eligible to receive a ticket voucher for a single visit. Kahler said up to two adults can also access a free ticket voucher per location to accompany their child. 

Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. The Sunflower Summer program will be available through August 15. The Sunflower Summer app is free to download for IOS and Android. You can find more information on how to sign up for the program here.

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