KERA Summer Learning Challenge 2020

▸ August’s activity calendar and book recommendations are here — this month’s theme is History Detectives!
▸ How has your SLC 2020 experience been? Please take our short survey.

Join KERA’s free summer learning program!

Summer can be a time of learning loss for kids. But not during KERA’s annual Summer Learning Challenge!

This free program gives parents and caregivers a structured, easily-accessible blueprint to a fun, educational summer filled with kids’ favorite PBS characters.

How It Works


▸ To complete the Challenge by August, follow the checklist. Don’t forget to log book titles on your summer reading chart.

▸ You can find all the materials, instructions and information you’ll need in the Resource Station and Virtual Events sections below.

▸ By Friday, August 21, a) fill out and submit your completed checklist and b) email a scan or photo of your reading chart. See more details.

The Challenge runs from June 8 to August 10, 2020. It’s self-paced, so families can feel free to move to their own rhythm. At the end, each participating child will receive a prize pack in the mail!

We invite you to connect with us and other KERA parents in our Summer Learning Challenge group on Facebook.

In addition to an activity calendar, tips and materials, this year’s Challenge will include virtual instead of in-person events, to continue promoting healthy physical distancing.

Let’s have a fun summer of learning! Email any questions about the Challenge along the way to engage@kera.org.


▸ RESOURCE STATION

☀️ The Activity Calendar: Every day of the month features an engaging, fun activity. In the calendar below, click each day to access the accompanying link or resource. You can add a particular day to your own calendar by tapping the “Save” button. You also can add the whole month to some personal calendar services by clicking “Subscribe.” Prefer PDF versions? Get them here.

☀️ The Checklist: This is your guide to completion of the Challenge! The most important requirement for completion? Have fun ♥️

☀️ PBS Summer Reading Chart: We’ll be taking a lot of literary adventures this summer, so log the books you read on this chart.

☀️ PBS Summer Reading Bookmarks: Need to hold your place? Create bookmarks of your own or print out these PBS-themed versions.

☀️ Library Book Carousels: Dallas librarians pick out themed book recommendations for KERA Kids each month. If you have a Dallas Library card, you can check out books and e-books right in the carousels below (click the + sign). If you live outside of Dallas, use the carousels to browse titles to check out at your own local library, or sign up for your city library’s summer reading program.

☀️ Reading Tips for Families: Reading together as a family has many benefits for children. Check out these tips and book lists from PBS created especially for parents.

Bonus! ☀️ Extra Printable Activity Sheets: Here are 12 additional coloring and activity sheets, just for fun.





▸ VIRTUAL EVENTS

These virtual events will take place in the SLC Facebook group. Join us there at the time of each event.

Meet A Paleontologist — August 6

Note: The expert for this virtual event has changed to Dr. Ron Tykoski, the Perot Museum’s Palentology Lab Director.

Meet Myria Perez, a fossil preparator, from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. She has cleaned and repaired fossils from all over the world and from many different extinct animals.

This virtual event takes place Thursday, August 6, at 9:30 a.m.

Myria began her path in paleontology as a volunteer at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at age 12 and earned her degrees in geology and anthropology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Yoga Storytelling Sessions For Kids — June 23, July 14, August 4

yogees yoga 4 kids creator Taylor Seideman will share yoga, songs and a yoga-along storytime each month over the summer (see schedule below). We will start with a warm up and songs, followed by a yoga-along reading of a new book each time. Class will include a mindfulness practice and savasana.

Tuesday, June 23, at 11 a.m.: I am Human: A Book of Empathy, a message of empathy for children and their families.

Tuesday, July 14, at 11 a.m.: I Am Enough, a delightful collection of positive affirmations to reinforce the importance of self-esteem and self-acceptance. Bonus! » Download this printable I Am Enough activity sheet

Tuesday, August 4, at 11 a.m.: I Like Myself!, an ode to self-esteem high on energy and imagination.

Birding With Ben At The Dallas Zoo — July 28

Ben Jones with Dallas Zoo

Did you know there are over 200 species of birds right here in North Texas?

Ben Jones, Dallas Zoo’s senior director of conservation, will share his love for birdwatching in this virtual event, along with tips and tricks for exploring the world of birds right outside our homes. We’ll also learn how to use binoculars, field guides and our observation skills to identify the bird species we see.

This virtual event will take place on Tuesday, July 28, at 1 p.m.

▸ After the lesson with Ben, download and print this Backyard Bingo game to play with your family! Check off the birds and other summer-yard items you discover during your outdoor exploration.

Meet An Archaeologist — July 23

Meet archaeologist Dr. Becca Peixotto during a behind-the-scenes look at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s “Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind” exhibit.

This virtual event takes place Thursday, July 23, at 9:30 a.m.

We’ll learn about amazing discoveries of ancient human relatives from South Africa. What do these fossils tell us about what it means to be human? How do scientists find the fossils and study them?

Bonus paleoanthropology resource: How did scientists discover Neo? That’s the nickname scientists gave to a partial skeleton of an adult Homo naledi, found in the Rising Star Cave in South Africa. Neo is a human ancestor who would have lived at least 236,000 to 336,000 years ago. Learn more about Neo »

African Drums With Baba Kwasi — July 10

Charles “Baba Kwasi” Harris introduces children to the oldest drum beat in the world. Using an array of drums, rhythm instruments, song and the power of sound and vibration, Baba Kwasi will demonstrate how people come together with storytelling, movement and rhythm as a form of communication and meaningful social relations.

This Facebook Watch Party takes place Friday, July 10, at 11 a.m.

Baba Kwasi is co-founder of the Ayubu Kamau Kings and Queens, a performing arts and youth mentoring organization.


▸ OUR PARTNERS

KERA is grateful to our friends for contributing quality, enriching content to the Summer Learning Challenge: