Because kids still need to eat, learn, and stay safe when school’s out
During the summer months away from school, it’s crucial that children have access to healthy meals, safe environments, and books and educational opportunities so they can keep learning.
Public and private partners across Georgia—including the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Governor’s Office of Student Achievement—have come together to create this online toolkit with resources for summer reading, learning, safety, and meals.
We encourage you to connect with other Georgians this summer by using the hashtag #SchoolsOutGA to share photos, videos, and stories that show how your family is incorporating these tools into your everyday life. You can also submit your story to us so that we can share it with others.
Child Health and Wellness: Engage these available resources from DECAL to reinforce child health and wellness this summer. Here you’ll find nutrition education activities like “It’s Taste Test Time!” and “Food Education Scavenger Hunt” along with resources about child care nutrition, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Strong4Life Parent, breastfeeding, food allergies, and more.
Farm to Child Nutrition Programs: Summer meals programs capitalize on the many opportunities that summer brings to serve fresh, local foods and hands-on activities that help children develop healthy habits. Learn more with these resources from DECAL including a virtual farm field trip, children’s seed planting activity, and much more.
FoodFinder: This mobile and web app that helps students and families find food pantries, kitchens, and shelters near you.
Local Food Banks—Georgia Food Bank Association: Your community is served by one of Georgia’s eight Feeding America affiliate Food Banks. Find yours here to donate or get help.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO): These programs, administered by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and the Georgia Department of Education, provide access to free and nutritious meals to children 18 and under during the summer months when school’s out. Find summer meal sites on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Meal Site Finder map. The website includes dates of operations, meals available at each location, meal times, and more. The Food and Nutrition Service also offers a text message option. Text Summer Meals to 97779 or call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) to find summer meal sites. Spanish-speaking families may call 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6279). (This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For USDA’s non-discrimination statement, click here.)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP is a federally funded program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. It can help stretch your grocery budget and also provide your kids with the nutrition they need to learn and excel at school. Not sure if you’re eligible for SNAP? Text “Food” to 74544 to see if you qualify, or visit mRelief.com to take a brief screening survey.
Childhood Vaccines: To keep students healthy throughout their educational journey, Georgia requires children to get vaccines against certain diseases before going to school. If you’re unsure of Georgia’s school requirements, now is the time to check with your doctor, your child’s school, or your local health department.
COVID-19 Vaccine: The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for everyone ages 16 and up. As vaccines continue to arrive in Georgia in limited supply, and eligible Georgia residents are encouraged to pre-register. An adult authorized to provide informed consent for the vaccine must accompany any eligible 16 or 17 year old vaccine participant to the appointment and will sign the informed consent documentation prior to immunization. Any eligible 16 or 17 year old vaccine participant must bring proof of age to the vaccination appointment in the form of government issued identification or a birth certificate.
Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL): For immediate access to routine or crisis services, please call the GCAL access line at 1-800-715-4225. Help is available 24/7 for problems with developmental disabilities, mental health, drugs, or alcohol.
Look Again: This campaign, promoted by DECAL, calls for families and caregivers of children to have heightened awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles. With more than 337,000 children in Georgia child care programs each day, it is vitally important to ensure each child’s health and safety, especially during transportation. The website includes videos that address transportation issues.
Ready Georgia: This statewide campaign supported by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security is aimed at motivating Georgians to take action to prepare for a disaster. Ready Georgia provides further guidance on the three most important steps you can take to protect you and those in your care.
Bright By Text: Bright by Text is a free service that provides activities, games, and resources right to your smartphone. Messages are targeted to your child’s age and include information on child development, language and early literacy, health and safety, behavioral tips, and more. Message and data rates may apply. To get started, text GPB to 274448 or fill out this form. Subscribers can receive texts in English or Spanish.
Capstone: This publisher’s mission is to help children develop a love of reading and learning, no matter their ability level. Capstone is offering free trials for the following tools to all preschool and elementary school students from May 3 through Aug. 30. The username for all digital content for summer reading is gasummer21 and the password is school, and this is the auto-login link.
- PebbleGo: This K – 2 database is specifically designed to teach growing learners technology and literacy skills early in their school career. It’s also great for preschoolers.
- PebbleGo Next: This is the next step in research, providing students in grades 3 – 5 with more content and tools to meet their curriculum needs.
- Capstone Interactive eBooks: Over 5,000 titles will capture the imagination and curiosity of any reader.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta—CMA at Home: The museum offers fun and educational content for families and children of all ages through #CMAatHome. Children can enjoy storytime, music and movement, and draw-along activities. Families can also learn words in Italian, German, and Japanese during online cooking lessons. Content includes instructions, vocabulary, and helpful videos.
Common Lit: This free collection of fiction and nonfiction for students in grades 3-12 can be searched and filtered by Lexile level, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or standard. Readings can be read online or downloaded.
Cox Campus for Families: This website offers free, online courses, videos, guides, and activity ideas to help parents and families support their child’s early learning and development.
Department of Early Care and Learning Resources
- Chat About Children: This educational series for families features episodes on monitoring development, supporting transition back to child care and school, building your young child’s brain, engaging children in play, how early language builds literacy, and more.
- School-Age Resource Page: Children need a balance of cognitive learning time, social time, physical development time, creative playtime, and reading or literacy time throughout the day. To help providers, caregivers, and children, DECAL has compiled resources that can be used to help enhance a child’s daily schedule with creativity and fun learning.
- Toddler Time at Home: This calendar of daily activities features weekly themes that encompass five categories: On The Move, Adventures Online, Sensory Time, Story Time, and Arts and Creativity.
- Georgia Pre-K At Home: This website includes educational resources divided into four categories: Storytime, Virtual Field Trips, Let’s Go Outside, and Screen-Free Time. Activities are based on the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards and intentionally involve simple household items easily found at home.
- Pre-K Summer Transition Program: For income-eligible families, this four-week program offers high-quality instruction to prepare rising pre-K and kindergarten students for success in school.
Freckle: This free online learning platform helps students in grades K – 10 practice math and ELA at their own level.
Georgia Public Broadcasting Education Resources
- Online Summer Learning Series: Join GPB for a series of fun and educational online workshops for kids this summer to watch well-known PBS KIDS shows and participate in hands-on learning activities. Workshops will take place at 10 a.m. and last approximately one hour.
- Summer of Learning with GPB and PBS KIDS: All-new summer content and resources will keep kids learning and encourage exploration with their favorite PBS KIDS characters. PBS KIDS will air all-new specials and episodes and offer free digital learning activities, virtual screening events, and more.
- Georgia Home Classroom: GPB, in partnership with GaDOE, offers instructional TV broadcasts aligned to Georgia’s state standards, along with a library of digital learning resources to support at-home summer learning.
- “Getting Ready Guides” for Grades K – 5: GPB, in partnership with GaDOE, is offering “Getting Ready” guides to help parents of young learners in grades K – 5 keep the learning going over the summer and explore skills that will prepare a student for the school year ahead.
Georgia Public Library Service Resources
- e-READ KIDS: This collection of e-books and audio books for kids in pre-K through fourth grade features a mix of nearly 20,000 fiction and nonfiction titles.
- Online Resources: Whether you’re working on a school assignment, doing research, or simply want to gain a new skill, your library has easy-to-use online resources available. Just sign in from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
- Public Library Directory: Use this search tool to find a public library near you. This summer, all of Georgia’s public libraries invite you to “Imagine Your Story” through fun programming for kids that varies per library system.
- 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten: Public libraries across the state encourage parents to read 1,000 books with their children before the age of 5 through this fun and easy program.
- PINES Kids Catalog: Check out the special link on this catalog with titles that support the “Imagine Your Story” theme this summer. Other categories include ABC’s, counting, nutrition, shapes, colors, and much more.
- Virtual Summer Reading: As local public libraries continue to provide online resources, including wi-fi connections, to students and their families, plans have been adapted for the Summer Reading Program. Online access to Beanstack will be provided to all 408 public libraries in Georgia. Beanstack lets you track reading, participate in challenges, and engage with fun literacy activities. Many libraries are planning fun virtual programs.
Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network Resources
- Summer Activity Guide: GSAN has developed a suite of fun and engaging activities and challenges for school-age children designed specifically for this atypical summer. The activities are organized by four different age groups (5 – 9, 10 – 12, 13 – 15, 16 – 18), adaptable for in-person and virtual instruction, and based in skill building and social-emotional learning. Quick Guides will accompany the suite to support youth development professionals and families. Resources will be released gradually from May 27 through early August.
- Out-of-School Time Program Map: This map helps you to begin your search for an out-of-school program that fits your needs. You can search by location, keyword, activities offered, and ages served. All information on the map is self-reported.
- Literacy and Future Learning Resources: Afterschool and summer learning programs provide students with the additional supports they need to help build a strong foundation in literacy, including reading, writing and critical thinking skills that pave the way for future learning.
Georgia Storytellers Series: Some celebrated local authors, storytellers, and musicians have come together to connect with and inspire children and families through the Get Georgia Reading Campaign’s “Georgia Storytellers Series.” Now, kids and families, it’s your turn to share your stories. Retell one of your favorite tales or make up one of your own. Read it, sing it, act it, dance it—the sky’s the limit. When you upload your video on Facebook or Twitter, tag #GetGAReading so we can share your story.
iCivics: Games are a great tool for summer learning that won’t feel like school work. Check out more than 20 free online games that are designed to help students put their civics and history knowledge into play. iCivics games can be played on a computer or tablet, so your student can learn on the go this summer.
Learning Power: Georgia Power’s summer camp activities are now on video. Solar s’mores, cool catapults… and much more! Students will love these hands-on activities covering STEM energy topics like transformation of energy, insulators and conductors, and engineering.
NASA STEM at Home: NASA is helping inspire the next generation of STEM professionals with these free hands-on projects categorized to help kids Build It! Solve It! Launch It! Play It! Color It! and Read It! at home.
Open Middle: Organized by grade level and specific skill for grades K – 12, Open Middle features a series of equations with missing numbers that students solve using critical thinking, number sense, and math concept knowledge.
Prodigy: Check out engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform designed to motivate students in grades 1 – 8 to learn and practice math. No cost, ever.
READCamp with Malcolm Mitchell: This three-month program allows students in grades K – 12 to participate in training, drills, and practice in order to maintain literacy skills during summer break. This reading challenge, led by Super Bowl Champion and author Malcolm Mitchell, is designed to encourage reading over the summer to avoid “the summer slide” learning gap. Kids and/or parents can sign up, or teachers can sign up their entire class. The program kicks off on May 31 and registration begins on May 3.
Renaissance myON Digital Library: Georgia’s students can enjoy free, anytime/anywhere access to many digital books and news articles from May 3 through July 31. Read online using any Internet-enabled device, or read offline with free mobile apps. Getting started is easy.
- School Name: Get Georgia Reading (Type the first few letters and select “Get Georgia Reading” from the drop-down menu.)
- Username: yourcounty (example: cobbcounty)
- Password: read
Sightwords.com: The Georgia Preschool Association sponsors resources to help teach your child to read, including games, lessons and flashcards.
Storyline Online: This award-winning children’s literacy website streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
The Kids Should See This: An educational alternative to YouTube, this collection of kid-friendly (not made-for-kids) videos, is curated for teachers and parents who want to share smarter, more meaningful media in the classroom and home.
Vroom: Boost learning from birth – 5. Boost learning from birth – 5. Available for iOS and android phones, this app is filled with fun and simple learning activities for mealtime, bathtime, bedtime, or anytime.
Wide Open School: This free collection of online learning experiences features resources for children in pre-K through grade 12, offering suggested daily schedules with online and offline activities. The site features content developed by National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, noggin, Boys & Girls Club, and National Head Start Association, among others.
Words2Reading: Grow your young reader from birth – 8 through easy-to-follow videos, links, downloadable documents, e-books, and audio clips.
Camp PBS Kids: Go on summer learning adventures with PBS KIDS. Get tips and activities to make this summer a season full of creativity, exploration, and fun for the whole family. Explore different topics such as space, world cultures, reading, fun in the outdoors, and cooking with math with your favorite PBS KIDS characters.
Camp Wonderopolis: This free online summer learning destination is full of fun, interactive STEM and literacy building topics boosted by Maker experiments. Keeping kids and their families learning together throughout the summer and out-of-school time, Camp Wonderopolis can help build vocabulary, background knowledge in science, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and other literacy skills along the way.
DECAL/QCC Summer Camp Search Checklist: Before you choose a summer camp or child care for your child, ask these questions about the facility’s general policies and COVID-19 prevention measures. Parents can get answers to questions and referrals to safe, affordable, and engaging programs by calling 1-877-ALL-GA-KIDS (877-255-4254). This free service is available Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.