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Summer Learning Revamped

Pittsburgh will be home to a summer learning campaign in the coming months as part of a new initiative to "remake summer learning" in the city, according to a press release.

The Days of Summer project is supported by the city's HIVE Learning Network, an organization that advocates new ways to teach and learn, particularly in out-of-school environments. There are HIVE networks in New York and Chicago, all of which receive funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

This summer, the Pittsburgh network, with support of a local nonprofit, the Sprout Fund, will coordinate activities at museums, libraries, camps, and other community institutions for students in the city.

A number of these efforts will incorporate digital tools, like mobile phones, to make the activities more appealing to students and to teach 21st-century skills, says the release.

Pittsburgh is not the only place using community institutions to provide real-world learning experiences.

According to an article in the Minnesota Star Tribune, museums in that state (and elsewhere) are increasingly becoming a resource for schools to enrich and enhance their curriculum, especially given budget reductions.

For example, students at a high school in Albert Lea receive hands-on history lessons at a local historical village, learning such skills as planting corn and churning butter, in addition to developing a history lesson to teach 5th grade classes.

Museums invest more than $2 billion a year for educational programming, the article reports.

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