Education News Briefs


Pratt JAG students place 1st in regional competition

Dustin Cox, Airam Fernandez and Graciela Garcia were part of the first-place JAG team from Pratt High School earlier this year in a regional competition.

Pratt High School JAG students finished in first place as a team against 20 other teams at the JAG-K Region 1 CDC competition earlier this year.

Airam Fernandez finished third in public speaking. The topic for this year's speech was "What has JAG done for you in the last year?" Airam outlined some personal barriers that she had to overcome.

Graciela Garcia got second place in employability skills. She had to submit an application, a resume and a cover letter in the first phase of the competition and participated in a mock interview in the second phase.

Dustin Cox got second place in financial literacy. This competition consisted of a 51-question test in which Cox missed only one question.

Sunflower Summer program lets students learn, visit attractions

A new program will help children stay engaged in learning throughout the summer while spending quality time with family and friends touring some of Kansas’ greatest attractions – all for free.

The Sunflower Summer program, which is being funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, is a collaboration between the Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research, and Greenbush Education Service Center.

“This is a win-win for Kansas students and Kansas attractions,” said Commissioner of Education Randy Watson. “The Sunflower Summer program can help enrich summer learning and is an excellent opportunity for students and families to go on educational adventures together while supporting nearly 70 Kansas attractions.”

Adults can visit to download the Sunflower Summer mobile app to their phone or tablet device. The app is now available for both iPhone and Android users. An adult will need to register their family members and include their county and school district. There are nearly 70 attractions to choose from across the state, including zoos, museums, historic landmarks, libraries and outdoor locations.

Within the Sunflower Summer app is a passport that allows participants to track where they have visited on their adventures.

Once a location has been selected, tickets can be claimed within the app. When attendees are ready to enter, the ticket can be activated and presented to the ticket taker.

Child care facilities also can access and use the app for field trips. Each Kansas student in grades pre-K through 12th-grade and up to two adults may access a ticket voucher to each of the participating attractions in the app. After the first use, the app passport will be stamped and the ticket will no longer be accessible.

The program runs through Aug. 15. Funding is limited, and tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

For information, visit

FHSU scholarship to help students help preserve Nicodemus

Fort Hays State University's department of political science has created a new scholarship opportunity to support its commitment to diversity, history, political, social and racial justice.

The award, initiated by assistant professor Jay Steinmetz and department Chair Larry Gould, will contribute to the preservation and vitality of a central Western Kansas civil rights and historical treasure — the community of Nicodemus —  by awarding a deserving FHSU political science major/minor with a $500 internship/apprenticeship.

Nicodemus is one of the first Black settlements west of the Mississippi for migrants of the Reconstruction era and has continued to remain in the consciousness of Kansan and American political thought.

“This fellowship opportunity intends to further this legacy by connecting FHSU undergraduates with the many individuals who work for the Nicodemus community and the Nicodemus Historical Society,” Steinmetz said. “The Society remains active in preservation, and the FHSU Nicodemus Scholar Award provides a welcomed connection to this community. The award will tie town-to-gown and promote the department’s mission of political thinking for the greater good.”

Students selected for this award will participate in archival research, memorial planning, event management, grant writing, community development and documentation, and registration for historical preservation.

Students interested in applying for the award may visit or call 785-628-4419.