Fun in the Sun Logo

Since 1997, United Way of Santa Barbara County has provided Fun in the Sun, a national award-winning summer learning collaborative program involving 80 service delivery partners, 20+ funding partners, and over 600 volunteers. Originally designed to address summer learning loss, FITS has expanded its academic curriculum and services to position itself as a holistic space to support students and their families throughout the summer. Enriched with a robust mindfulness program, STEAM activities, mentorship opportunities, environmental education, and field trips, the program offers hundreds of students and families throughout the community with an enriching summer experience.

2024 Program Dates:

Mary Buren Elementary: June 17th - July 26th, 2024

*No program Wed, June 19 or Thurs, July 4

Aliso Elementary: June 17th - July 31st, 2024

*No program Wed June 19, Thurs, July 4, or Fri. July 5

Hollister Elementary: June 24th - July 26th, 2024

*No program Thurs, July 4

Solvang Elementary: June 17th - July 26th, 2024

*No program Wed, June 19 or Thurs, July 4

Harding and Franklin Elementary: June 24th - August 2nd, 2024

*No program Thurs, July 4


Enrollment for Fun In The Sun 2024 is OPEN NOW!

Fun in the Sun RequirementsFun in the Sun Requirements ESP




















Enrollment for 2024 Fun In The Sun Leader In Training (LIT) program is OPEN NOW!

Participants at FITS

Fun in the Sun 2024 Employment Opportunities:

Volunteer with Lunch Bunch!

As part of United Way's Fun in the Sun program, we offer an hour-long volunteer opportunity for community members called "Lunch Bunch." Lunch Bunch gives volunteers an opportunity to play games and interact with students in the program, fostering positive adult engagement for the kids and giving volunteers the opportunity to mentor students and share about their lives and career. 


2023 Fun in the Sun Program Video


2023   Program Services


Adult Mentorship

Character Education

Daily Reading/Writing

Environmental Education

Expression through Arts

Family Fun Nights

Financial Literacy Training

Field Trips

Free Health Services

Free Lunch & Snack Daily

Mindfulness Curriculum & Activities

Nutrition & Health Education

Parent Education Seminars

Self-Esteem Building Activities


STEAM Education

Sun Safety Education

Swim Lessons

Team-Building Activities


2023  |  Results


Results of the 2022 FITS program


Why Fun in the Sun?

Local data suggests that parents of students eligible for the Fun in the Sum summer program work on average, 2.2 jobs each. As school lets out for the summer, many parents from low-resource communities struggle to balance an intense workload and lack of resources with the needs of their children. Despite best efforts, many of these children spend the summer alone, without access to learning tools and basic needs that are offered during the traditional school year, like reading help and daily meals and snacks. These students are at the highest risk for summer learning loss, a major contributor to the achievement gap between students from low and high-income households. 

Fun in the Sun provides students and their families with unique and engaging learning experiences to reduce and reverse summer learning loss and narrow the achievement gap, ensuring academic success during the school year and beyond.



Service Delivery Partners | Fun in the Sun 2023

School Districts 


College School District

Carpinteria Unified School District

Goleta Union School District

Guadalupe Union School District

Santa Barbara Unified School District

Solvang School District

Community Organizations 


Alisal River Course

Allan Hancock College

Assistance League of Santa Barbara County

Art with Louie

Bank of California 

Bike Coalition


Carpinteria Community Pool 

Carpinteria Library

Cottage Health 

Creative Network 

Dana Adobe

Drum Tiki 

Explore Ecology

Fishing Club 

Goleta Sanitary

Goleta Valley Library 

Key Class

Kid's Farmers Market

Lost Art of Love Letters 

MarBorg Industries

Montecito Bank & Trust

Montecito Family YMCA 

MOXI - The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation 




Montecito Union School - Nature Lab 

NASA Globe Program 

Nature Track 

One Cool Earth

Pacific Conservatory



Santa Barbara Public Library

Santa Maria Library

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara


Santa Maria Humane Society 

Solvang Library 

Stuart C. Gildred YMCA

Super Bee

Santa Ynez Therapeutic Riding 


UC Santa Barbara 

Westmont College 

Wilding Museum 

Yoga with Kimberly 

Youth Arts Alive