What is a Pop-Up School?

The UM-Flint Pop-Up School: Education Outside Your Door program is a mobile classroom that provides high quality, play-based literacy, math, science, and social studies activities for young children.  This classroom is intended to serve those children most in need and visits neighborhoods, community events, health fairs, churches, and other venues throughout the city of Flint.  Activities are set up outdoors as much as possible depending on the weather.   

Parents/guardians are encouraged to interact and learn with their children as they explore different hands-on projects and activities. 

The Pop-Up School van is generally scheduled during the mornings or afternoons, Monday-Friday.  There are occasional Saturday and evening events.

View our slideshow for more information

Looking for a Pop-Up School in Your Neighborhood?

Click the Schedule in the Menu to find out where our schools will be popping up in the community. 

Where Would You Like to See the "Pop-Up" Van?

If you would like to schedule a visit from our Pop-Up School Van for a community event, please contact Cathy A. Lesinski, Pop-Up School manager at catlesin@umich.edu.

We are now scheduling for fall events.


In the News

Check out the story that was found on the UM-Flint hompage, June 17, 2019, about the UM-Flint Pop-Up School.

Mobile classroom: Pop-Up School travels throughout Flint


Building Trust, Hope, and Healing through Play: A Community Pop-Up School

In March, we presented the story of the Pop-Up School's origin at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: Play for Life in Clemson, SC.

Reaching Children in Need: Learning from a Pop-Up School Model

The UM-Flint Pop-Up School had the wonderful opportunity this January 2019, to present at the 17th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education. This was our first presentation about our program meant to educate and inspire educators to think creatively when reaching chidren in need.


Flint Registry - Get Connected. Get Supported. Get Counted.

People who used Flint Water from April 25, 2014 to October 15, 2015 can participate in a voluntary secure registry that will refer them to programs and other resources aimed at minimizing the effects of lead on their health, whle promoting wellness and recovery.

For more information, please visit flintregistry.org.

Past Events in 2019

Flint Development Center

Wednesday mornings are spent with children who are attending the summer program at the Flint Development Center. Hands-on activites and art projects stimiluate the students and promote imagination.

For Mar Nature Preserve

Families of all ages and sizes froliced in the mud at For Mar Nature Preserve on Saturday, June 29, 2019, in celebration of International Mud Day. The Pop-Up School provided pots, pans, measuring cups, baking pans, and bowls so that children could use their imaginations when cooking in the "mud kitchen."   

Crossroads Village

The effects of gravity were explored at Crossroads Village on Saturday, June 15, 2019, as children created and flew straw space ships and batted around Junior Float R Parachutes.

Positive Start Child Development Center

The topic of discussion at Positive Start Child Development Center this May centered around life cycles. After reading the book titled, The Wide Mouthed Frog, students fashioned their own frogs using pool noodles and a party favor. 

For Mar Nature Preserve

Everyone had a great time at For Mar Nature Preserve on Saturday, May 11, 2019, for their second annual Superhero Run. Children and their families played with the parachute, ran through our obstacle course, and played a friendly game of Cornhole. After the run, some families relaxed by reading books provided by the Pop-Up School.


The Pop-Up School joined Story Time at Applewood on Friday, May 3, 2019.  The book of the day, Lola Plants a Garden, by Anna McQuinn inspired our "create your own flower craft."  Children designed their own flowers with all sorts of loose parts.

UM-Flint Nursing Program - Service Learning Project

The UM-Flint Pop-Up School has teamed up with the UM-Flint Nursing Program to provide preschoolers with lessons on nutrition, personal hygeine, and physical fitness.  Hands-on activities, games, and dramatic play allow the children to learn and practie life skills.  Mrs. Walker's preschool class at Sunny Patch Learning Center (Donaldson Location) is seen here enjoying a lesson on nutrition.

Sunny Patch Learning Center - Donaldson location

Children at Sunny Patch enjoy building with all sorts of materials.  This ball maze can be constructed in different configurations.  When the ball goes into the tube, it can travel down several paths and exit through several openings.  This is a great activity for problem solving and probability.