From staff reports
Summer school can be pretty cool. Who could resist classes like Bubbleology, Ten Days of Seuss-A-Paloossa, Jewelry Making and Horsemanship?
This summer, three of Ohio University's regional campuses welcome students, from kindergartners to eighth-graders, to have fun while they learn. The Chillicothe, Lancaster and Southern campuses have offered opportunities for younger students to explore and create for more than 20 years. New this summer: the Southern campus' Ohio Horse Park will give young horse lovers a chance to learn horsemanship skills.
The lineup is a veritable smorgasbord of choices to pique young learners' curiosity, with each campus providing its own mix. And even the most fanciful offerings are infused with math, science, language, reading or art lessons.
The programming makes a college campus feel like home -- and could mean that students will warm up early in their academic careers to the idea of attaining a college degree.
Comments from Chillicothe Dean Richard Bebee about that campus' Kids in College program ring true about the offerings on all three campuses.
"The program offers an opportunity for students to become involved in summer enrichment activities in a safe, vibrant learning environment," he said. "It is an outstanding outreach initiative that continues commitment to being an engaged member of the community."
Here's a look at the specifics on the three campuses' offerings:
About 200 students currently are taking classes during the three-week summer Kids in College program. Having completed the first two one-week sessions Friday, the campus gears up for the third and final session to begin July 7.
"We learn new things in a very fun way. Of course, I would take this great program again," said Natalie Heineman, age 12, who is back this summer after attending last year's Kids in College.
Now in its 29th year, Kids in College provides fun and learning for children completing grades 3 through 8. Plenty of hands-on activities in science labs; ceramics, dance and painting studios; outdoors; and during field trips broaden the students' experiences and contribute to the fun factor. Class sizes are small, with an emphasis on individual instruction.
Kids in College coordinator Maryann Lape said changing it up is her greatest challenge, particularly since many students return year after year.
"We want to offer a variety of topics and add new courses each year," she said. "Fortunately, our instructors come up with new ideas, and parents and students have great ideas, too."
A sampling of this year's courses include Thinking Strategically: Introduction to Game Theory; Forensic Sciences I and II; Chess -- Beginner and Intermediate; Ohio in the Civil War; "O" is for Ohio!; Sign Language Basics II and III; Conversational French; Conversational Spanish; Digital Photography Basics; Interior Decorating; Beginning Printmaking; Ceramics; Advanced Polymer Clay Sculpture and Mask Making; Fundamentals of Golf; and Taekwondo.
Chillicothe's popular Kids in College program sessions will take place July 7-11 and July 14-18. The program is open to students who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade, with some classes designed for students through the eighth grade.
As with the Lancaster program, this program has offered enrichment learning opportunities for youngsters for more than 20 years.
"The teachers are the heart of the program," said June Allred-Smith of the Ross County Educational Service District, who coordinates the instruction and classes. "Most are veteran classroom teachers who look forward to becoming involved in the hands-on teaching that is the hallmark of this program. We offer a wide range of classes for learners with various interests. Some of the classes have an academic base, while others are related to creativity and recreation."
Among the classes are perennial favorites Ooey Gooey Science; Construction Zone; Show Choir; Bubbleology and Zomes; and Spectacular Sports. Among new offerings are Harry Potter and the End; Make a Video; Rockets; Photography; American Girl Doll History Class and Egyptian Culture Masks.
A video about the program is available online at www.chillicothe.ohiou.edu/pages/business-community/Special/KIC.htm.
Advanced and talented students entering first through sixth grades can spend two weeks at Southern's Academy of Excellence, which begins July 21 and runs through Aug. 1.
Now in its 26th year, the academy is designed specifically for academically advanced, highly motivated and creatively talented students. A school official must acknowledge that the participants are performing in the upper 5 percent of their class, are capable of performing in the upper 10 percent or have exceptional creative abilities.
According to program coordinator Janet Wagner, computer, math and science classes are the biggest draw, but those are far from the only choices. Among the topics students can study this year: All About Ohio; Being Heart Smart; Fun with Books; Life in Colonial America; Pig Out on Math; Science Can be Simple; Space and the Universe; Take a Quick Bow!; Ten Days of Seuss-A-Paloossa; Visit the Rainforest; Cartoon Art; Clothing Design-Project Runway-esque; Life in Colonial America; Math Creations Through Art; Science Experiments Using Toys; Space and the Universe; Take a Quick Bow!; Viva Mexico; Word Up!; and WOW! It's Your Body.
The nearly 200 participants get personal attention in small classes as well as interaction with other children of above-average ability and motivation. At the end of the sessions, children, parents, siblings and other family members come to campus for a celebration. Wagner said more than 600 people attended last year's family day -- another reason children want to return year after year.
Ohio Horse Park, Southern campus
Adding a new twist this summer, Fun with Horses Summer Campers can learn about breeds and identification of the horse, natural behaviors, approaching, haltering and tying, leading and riding. This is the first year for the camp.
Held at the Ohio Horse Park in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, the camp provides transportation from the campus of Ohio University-Southern. Students have the option of attending the camp either July 21-25 or July 29-Aug.1, with sessions each morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
All riders must wear long pants each day. Camp literature advises that a boot with a one-half-inch heel is best to ride in, and the Ohio Horse Park has several pairs available for use for those who do not own boots.
In addition to riding each day, participants will complete horse-related crafts.
These contacts can provide more information about summer youth programs on the regional campuses:
- Chillicothe: Barb Anderson or June Allred-Smith at 740-702-3120
- Lancaster: Maryann Lape at 740-654-6711 or 1-888-446-4468, ext. 249, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southern: Janet Long Wagner at 740-533-4544 or email@example.com
- Ohio Horse Park: Kelly Hall, 740-354-9347 or firstname.lastname@example.org