SFCC hosts College For Kids program


Published: Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 3:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 12:00 a.m.
Twelve-year-old Carly Thompson is headed to college this month. She isn't the latest phenom, but she might be by the end of the summer.
Carly, who enters the seventh grade at Oak View Middle School in the fall, is among the approximately 240 area middle school students and high school freshman who will attend Santa Fe Community College's College For Kids Program.
"It's sort of like school but it prepares you for career choices," said Carly, who will be taking six classes, including drawing, animal care, hip hop dance, math and a course on how to do magic tricks.
The program, which begins July 12, offers classes on more than 80 topics, including journalism, chemistry, multimedia and art. A second session begins July 26 with a 64-course line up.
College For Kids was started five years ago to provide sixth- through ninth graders a feel for what awaits them in college. Enrollment was 80 students that first year and is expected to top 250 this summer. Students are required to take a minimum of four classes and each class runs about 50 minutes long with a 10-minute break in between.
The middle school years are a good time to get children visualizing what college life is about, said Kris Williams, director of the College for Kids Program. The program targets middle school age youth, who often have fewer options of things to do during the summer, Williams said.
The small class sizes - eight to 16 people per class - allow students to get more individualized attention, she said. Many of the teachers in the program work at local middle schools during the year.
"Students get the real college experience," said Williams.
Research shows that students who don't participate in some form of academics during the summer lose most of the skills they've gained, Williams said.
with about 80 students is offered to sixth through ninth graders who want to get a feel for college life.
Carly, who said she loves animals, will be taking a class that will allow her to feed animals and clean out their cages. Started with 80 students about five years ago.
Carly, this is her second year, wants to be an Olympic runner. , who has two horses and two dogs.
Students are required to take a minimum of four classes, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., each classes runs about 50 minutes long with a 10-minute break in between. Eighty-one different courses are offered and 64 offered in the second session.
Most parents prefer their children be occupied in something constructive during the summer months instead of having them stay at home and watch television, said Melissa Atyeo, a campus course coordinator at Santa Fe Community College.
"There is a great need for children's activities (in this age group) other then summer camps," Atyeo said. "This way they have fun but also learn while they're at it."
To keep the program entertaining, the course line up is a mix of academic and fun classes, such as Latin rhythms, juggling and fitness boogie.
Carly's mother, Susan Thompson, said she likes the course variety in the program. The hands-on nature of many of the courses gets students thinking about what career they might want to pursue, she said.
"It opens up their eyes to what it's all about out there," said Thompson. "It really prepares them for the real world."
As students keep coming back, word of the program and spreads. "We'll have parents and kids start calling months in advance to see what classes are being offered," Atyeo said.
College For Kids has been so popular among students that parents have asked if a similar high school program can be developed, said Marcel Navarro, coordinator of the program. SFCC is also considering expanding College For Kids to other campuses, Williams said.
A needs-assessment program currently offered in the Davis Center at the Archer campus will determine if adding a program there would be successful, she said. It's possible a new program could start in Archer as soon as next year.
"It's a way for kids to work on some of their skills in a fun atmosphere," said Williams.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top