Dallas City of Learning


Shared goal(s): Prevent summer learning loss, Support youth during out-of-school time activities


Dallas City of Learning (DCoL) was established in 2014 as a public-private partnership to increase access, dosage and quality of summer learning to all youth throughout Dallas. The system includes government entities like the City of Dallas and Dallas Independent School District as well as nonprofits, churches, museums, parks and more throughout the city.

For families, DCoL provides a centralized location where youth and families can search for summer learning opportunities based on location, interest area, target age of attendee, and price. Over 95% of the programs offered through DCoL are free of charge, and many provide wrap-around supports like transportation and meals.

For partner organizations, DCoL provides a mechanism to recruit participants, learn from peer organizations, receive financial support, and receive evaluation and assessment support.

Through a partnership with Southern Methodist University's Center on Research and Evaluation, we are able to track youth participants over time and identify impacts of summer learning on academic achievement and attendance.

Web site: https://dallascityoflearning.org/info/

Lead organization partners: City of Dallas, Dallas Independent School District, Big Thought

Kinds of organization: Advocacy/Intermediary Non-profit Organization, Civic-based Non-profit Organization, Government Entity, School/School District

Participant population: Families, Youth (Ages 14-17 or Grades 9-12), Youth (Ages 5-13 or Grades K-8)

Youth development support targetted: Out-of-School Time Academic Enrichment/Extended Learning, Social and Emotional Learning/Character Development, Whole Child/Positive Youth Development

Primary funding source: Corporate Sponsorship (including in-kind donations, matching gifts, volunteer program), Government Entity/Grant, Local Philanthropy

Document: http://brightspots.forumfyi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/DCoL-4pager.pdf


Timeframe: Summer 2020, Summer 2021

Location: Texas

Total capacity: 125,000

Health and safety: Compliance with State/County/City guidance, Limited room occupancy, Multiple hand washing/sanitizing stations, Physical distancing, Required masks for all--adults and youth--on site, Youth temperature checks

How do you address inequity? 

Dallas City of Learning focuses on increasing access, dosage and quality to summer learning to all youth throughout Dallas, regardless of race, preferred language or zip code. We track program offerings year over year and provide system-level support to neighborhoods who demonstrate less programmatic choices to youth. These supports are typically in the form of financial and professional learning supports for community-based partner organizations to help them increase their capacity to reach more youth.

Contact information: 

Sergio Antonio Garcia, Senior Manager for Learning Systems, Big Thought, sergio.garcia@bigthought.org


Common agenda: This element is EMERGING in our work.

Continuous communication: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Backbone support: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Mutually reinforcing activities: We are EXPLORING this element.

Shared measurement: We are SUSTAINING this element.

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