Thursday, May 15, 2014

College for Kids summer program is expanded

A Glee! class offered through College for Kids
Registration is now open for College for Kids, the popular summer enrichment program for elementary and middle-schoolers offered through the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Continuing Education program.

The lazy days of summer are just weeks away, but if  the program’s high demand is any indication, East County youngsters aren’t inclined to spend their months off in a perpetual fugue, planted in front of their TV sets.

The 8- to 14-year-olds have been clamoring for more classes, program administrators say, and this year, the district is responding in a big way.

Eighteen new classes have been added to the mix, all meeting four days a week between July 7-31. Fees range from $60 to $120.Since introduced during the ‘80s and ‘90s, College for Kids based at Cuyamaca College has proven such a hit that this year, 39 different classes – the most ever -- promise fun and stimulation in a state-of-the-art learning environment.

Registration is currently open for the low-cost, mostly weeklong classes offered from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Featuring a wide variety of workshops in art, science, music, media and more, this summer’s College for Kids includes a football camp for ages 8-11 and 12-14, along with new day camps for BMX, scooter and skateboard riders.

Reconfigured and updated to include technology-related offerings such as beginning to advanced videogame design and Photoshop, College for Kids has been expanded to also include classes in archaeology, geography, engineering and chemistry.  With course titles like “Wacky World of Chemistry,” and “Dig It! Archaeology,” the hands-on workshops are geared to make learning fun.

Digital Ocean Explorers is also new, and uses computer maps to teach students about the migrations of whales and sea turtles.  A class taught at the Water Conservation Garden located on the Cuyamaca College campus, “Environmental Leaders: Butterfly Exploration and Tree Mapping,” teaches kids how to identify and plant trees.

A career-exploration component of College for Kids returns this year as the Youth Boost Career Institute, free career exploration for incoming seventh- and eighth-graders interested in the fields of entrepreneurship, sustainable organic gardening and engineering. Funded by grants from the California Career Technical Education Pathways Initiative, the FREE career institute connects students with industry experts assisting them on career-related projects. The entrepreneurship class, for example, will have students pitching business plans to potential investors in a setting modeled after television’s “Shark Tank.”

The four-week vocational workshop makes it possible for students, selected on the basis of a 50-word essay, to rotate through each of the career areas. As with all College for Kids offerings, the career-education workshops will be led by a credentialed instructor. Additionally the middle-schoolers will be mentored by high school students selected from a district-supported teacher-preparation program targeting seniors from Granite Hills, Grossmont and Mount Miguel high schools with career plans as teachers. With nearly 80students who enrolled in last summer’s institute, class slots are expected to fill quickly. Students must submit a minimum 50-word essay signed by a teacher describing their interest in any of the three careers. The last day to submit an essay is June 6th.

“Over the last couple of years, College for Kids has developed into this great niche program that has proven so popular, we have expanded it for spring break,” said Erin Roberts-Hall, business developer for the district’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training program, based at Cuyamaca College.  “It was three years ago that the program really caught fire with the community. Last summer we were expecting about 200 kids, but we ended up with triple that number.”

Committed to addressing the educational needs of the community, the district also views College for Kids as an early orientation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca’s future students.

“This is a truly a wonderful way to introduce tomorrow’s students and their families to our colleges by offering fun and enriching classes they can enjoy,” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles. “These learning opportunities may be just the spark to fire up a young student’s interest in a career of the future.”

The College for Kids offerings run the gamut from the practical, with the Youth Boost Career Institute, to the creative, such as the Children’s Theatre Workshop. Designed to help students discover their inner whimsy, the workshop is geared to improve speech, vocabulary, projection, confidence and social interaction through theater games, improvisation, singing, monologues, audition techniques and more.

Other classes include: 

·          Code Cracking for Kids, which teaches Morse code, code history and basic spy craft.

·          Babysitter Training: Become a certified, reliable babysitter by learning infant care skills, home safety, CPR, and first aid.

·          Global Beats Drumming, which introduces kids to the conga, bongos and djembe, a skin-covered hand drum originating from West Africa.

·          Glee! Explore movement, songs, music theory, and play “American Idol” on Wii.

·          Rock Band: Perform rock music in a small group while learning song forms, pentatonic scales, power chords and improvisation.

·          CSI: Forensics for Kids, which teaches how to process a crime scene, autopsy protocols and more.

·          Golf for Beginners, which has a PGA golf pro providing students an understanding of the game, from etiquette to swing techniques.

·          Public Speaking for Fun and School: Through games and exercises, learn the techniques to become comfortable in front of groups from an award-winning Toastmaster.

·          Expressive Storytelling, in which students create stories and scenes in the moment with no script through improvisations and games.


For additional information, including online registration, go to  or contact the Continuing Education office at (619) 660-4350 or via email .