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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fun in the Sun?

Fun in the Sun (FITS) is a full-day summer learning program that combines academics with fun and interactive enrichment activities, field trips, and service projects. The program is designed to help scholars gain new academic skills and enter school in the fall ready to excel. Fun in the Sun does this through hands-on, project-based lessons, utilizing the best services and ideas from more than 70 local public and private organizations. 

FITS uses research-based curricula aligned with rigorous standards, and uses data from computer adaptive assessments to differentiate instruction according to scholars' unique learning needs. FITS expands learning time, increases children's academic skills and self-esteem, encourages healthy snacks and meals, and keeps kids safe, active, and learning when school is not in session.

What makes Fun in the Sun different from other summer programs in my community?

Extensive local and national research indicates that children from low resource communities will lose an average of 3 months of learning (e.g. reading and math skills) over the summer months. We are closing the Achievement Gap and reversing summer learning loss through academics and enrichment.

Fun in the Sun programs combine research-based strategies for boosting academic achievement, such as small-group instruction, research-based curricula, and trained leaders, with the fun and engaging enrichment activities ranging from creative arts to sports, science, and leadership development. The results speak for themselves – Fun in the Sun boost scholars' reading and math skills, help scholars gain self-confidence, and improve scholars' attitude toward school and learning.

Where will Fun in the Sun be offered in 2018?

Fun in the Sun will be offered at the following 5 sites this summer:

  1. Carpinteria- Aliso Elementary - 4545 Carpinteria Avenue

  2. Santa Ynez Valley Elementary - 3325 Pine Street

  3. Goleta – El Camino Elementary - 5020 San Simeon Drive

  4. East Santa Barbara- Franklin Elementary - 1111 E. Mason St.

  5. West Santa Barbara- Harding Elementary - 1625 Robbins Street

What are the dates and times for Fun in the Sun 2018?

Fun in the Sun will take place Monday-Friday (8:30am-4:30pm) from June 18, 2018 through July 27, 2018. FITS will be closed on Wednesday July 4, 2018 for Independence Day.

Who can apply?

  1. Applicants must be incoming 3rd-6th graders (currently in 2nd-5th grade) to apply. A Middle School program is offered only at Harding Elementary School in Santa Barbara for incoming 7th-9th graders (current 6th-8th graders). High school students can fill out a Counselor in Training Application. All applications can be found by clicking here.

  2. Applicants must participate in the free or reduced lunch program at their school and/or demonstrate financial need.  

  3. Only the families that can commit to attending the full program can apply. Fun in the Sun will take place from June 18, 2018-July 27, 2018.  Perfect Attendance and punctuality throughout 6 weeks is mandatory.

Note: If you have participated in Fun in the Sun before, not attending the required Parent Workshops will affect your eligibility.

What is the fee?

The total cost of a summer with Fun in the Sun averages $1, 300 per student. We request a $75 contribution per student from each family for the entire summer with Fun in the Sun. Financial assistance is available upon request.  

What is the enrollment process?

The first step is to submit your completed application before March 21, 2018. Due to the high number of applications received every summer, Fun in the Sun will only contact the applicants that will be participating in the program by the end of May.  If you do not receive a notice by June 1, please apply next year.  

The parents of the accepted students will be required to attend an orientation session prior to their child(ren) starting the Fun in the Sun program. They will be required to turn in their enrollment paperwork and donation at that meeting. The date and time of this meeting will be stated on the enrollment notification.   

What is expected of me if my scholar participates in Fun in the Sun?

Parent involvement increases scholar success. Parents of FITS scholars are required to participate in an orientation session before the start of Fun in the Sun program, three parent workshops throughout the 6-week program, and a family night on the last week of Fun in the Sun. Volunteering throughout the program and involvement in the Parent Committee are also encouraged to ensure they get the most value from the program.

Is transportation provided?

Fun in the Sun provides transportation to field trips and activities, but transportation to and from the program is not offered.

Do I need to apply again if my child(ren) participated in the program last year?

Yes, you will need to submit an application by the deadline of March 21, 2018. We will give returning scholars enrollment preference as long as:

  • They meet the grade requirement
  • They submit an application on time
  • Their parents attended the required workshops the prior summer

My child participated in Fun in the Sun last year, but is now entering the 7th grade. Is (s)he eligible?

Fun in the Sun offers a middle school program only at Harding Elementary School in West Santa Barbara. Incoming 7th-9th graders (students currently in 6th-7th grade) are encouraged to apply. This program is currently not offered at any other site.  

My child has special needs.  Who should I contact to make sure this is the right program for him/her?

If your child has a special need, please contact the Fun in the Sun Project Manager before applying to see how we can help.  

How can I apply to Fun in the Sun?

Click here to apply to Fun in the Sun now. Paper applications are also available at participating school offices, but we encourage you to apply online, if at all possible.

Can a High School student volunteer with Fun in the Sun?

Yes, Fun in the Sun has a Counselor in Training Program for incoming 10th-12th graders (students currently in 9th-11th grade). The Counselor in Training  (CIT) / Leadership Program is offered to mature students who are interested in learning to work with, teach, and lead groups of children.

Besides the invaluable leadership experience, CITs receive a special college and career preparedness program. CITs will participate in discussions with their coordinator which allows them to review their day and assess the quality of their contributions to program activities.  In addition to frequent informal feedback sessions, each CIT will receive a more formal evaluation of their efforts from the program staff twice per week.

CITs will be required to participate throughout the entire program.  CIT hours are from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-Friday. Many CITs become paid staff members of Fun in the Sun, but participation in the CIT program does not guarantee future employment. To apply for a volunteer CIT opportunity, please click here. 

How can I get in touch with Fun in the Sun?

Check with your school regarding your Fun in the Sun representative. For specific questions, you can also e-mail Julia West, Fun in the Sun Project Manager at or call (805) 965-8593.