Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Herald-Tribune on April 28, 2022.
In thinking back on your early years, you likely can recall several experiences outside of the classroom that contributed to your overall learning and development: a trip to the museum that introduced you to the cultures of past civilizations – or a session witnessing an artist at work that inspired your creativity.
Such learning opportunities, often family-centric and occurring outside of the school day, are key contributors to our children’s overall education. Having opportunities to enjoy interesting and innovative learning experiences with your loved ones strengthens relationships and builds community connections.
Fortunately, these types of interactive experiences are plentiful across the Suncoast. They are offered by a multitude of providers, from libraries and museums to nonprofit organizations and even businesses whose work can inspire our children.
Helping families in our region realize those possibilities is at the heart of Suncoast Remake Learning Days, an exciting 10-day, free, hands-on learning festival now taking place through May 8 in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.
Presented by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with the generous support of The Patterson Foundation, Suncoast Remake Learning Days consists of more than 140 events at locations throughout our region designed to provide hands-on and engaging educational experiences for youths of all ages and their families, caregivers, and educators.
All Suncoast Remake Learning Days events occur outside of school hours to highlight the learning opportunities that exist around us every day. The gatherings are focused on the arts, maker spaces, outdoor learning, science, technology, and youth voice. There are also professional development opportunities for parents and educators. In short, everyone will be able to try new things and rediscover a love of learning.
Among the events taking place are:
These events create shared experiences between children and families that can texture how kids learn in the classroom and introduce them to interests that can provide a lifetime of intellectual fulfillment. And they are the result of innovative efforts by more than 165 host organizations representing institutions throughout our region, such as schools, museums, libraries, after-school organizations, early child care centers, universities, and media outlets.
Strengthened by guidance and resources from The Patterson Foundation, these organizations have spent months conceptualizing and creating the enjoyable learning opportunities now on display during Suncoast Remake Learning Days.
It has been tremendously exciting to witness them turn their ideas into reality. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is thrilled to help share their activities with families in our four-county region. Our region’s festival is one of 17 Remake Learning Days festivals taking place across America, and it is the only one being held in Florida. It is giving our community the opportunity to take ownership of our children’s education and reinforce our knowledge that learning happens everywhere.
I invite all of you to take part in these inspiring, stimulating, and, most of all, fun learning experiences. For more details on this festival, visit SuncoastRemakeLearningDays.org for a full overview of the free events you and your children can experience.
Let’s remake learning together!