College for Kids 2018 Offers Fun, Teaches New Skills
June 29, 2018
In the "Roughing It" class, children learn how to identify suitable campsites and practice putting up tents. Elsewhere on the Knox College campus, another group of children in the "Knit Wits" class dye natural yarn, using unsweetened Kool-Aid as the coloring agent.
"Ooh, I love that color," one girl says as a jarful of water starts to take on a deep shade of turquoise. "It looks kind of like the sky."
Welcome to Knox College for Kids, the annual two-week summer enrichment program hosted on the Knox campus for youngsters from Galesburg and the surrounding communities.
Children in College for Kids take three classes every weekday morning, choosing from a selection of more than 30 different offerings that range from magic to photography to astronomy to paddle boarding. Classes are taught by Knox faculty, master teachers from area schools, professionals, and Knox College students who serve as teachers or teaching assistants.
This year's College for Kids enrolled 195 students who are entering grades 1 through 8, said Deborah Steinberg, director of the program sometimes referred to as C4K. College for Kids offers a discounted scholarship fee to eligible families, which allows more people to attend the program.
The program is designed mainly to engage and motivate students of all backgrounds.
"With subjects in math/science, fine arts, and social studies/humanities, students get a chance to try new subjects or learn new things in a fun and engaging way," Steinberg said.
C4K also helps youngsters get excited about the idea of attending college in the future. For some, the program represents their first time on a college campus, she said.
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The 2018 College for Kids program also featured a "junior" program for students entering first and second grades. Like the older students, children in the "junior" program take three classes each weekday. To ensure the safety of the young children, they are accompanied at all times by teachers and college assistants.
The "junior" classes explore literacy through dance movement and art-making in hands-on, interactive workshops—all connected to the theme, "Community." For instance, one activity was a show-and-tell in which students displayed an object, explained why it was important to them, and fielded questions from classmates.
Knox College students and recent graduates who work as College for Kids Fellows play a key role in the program, assisting the C4K director with program logistics and serving as teaching assistants in the classrooms.
Jenny Lau '19, an environmental studies major, was a fellow in two classes: Roughing It and Give Me Liberty, both taught by Jon Crider. She was eager to participate in C4K after hearing about her roommate's good experiences with the program last year.
"I help the teacher whenever he needs my help," Lau said. "This includes walking the kids safely to a destination, setting up a tent or keeping a chart to see who can roll up the sleeping bag the tightest and the fastest. I act like the cool aunt to the students."
Paige McDaniel '18, an elementary education major, was a fellow for three classes: Can Your Colony Survive?, Magic, and Unlimited Inventions.
"I feel like I'm gaining more experience with children and also building connections with some community members," said McDaniel, who will be teaching at Lombard Middle School in Galesburg in the fall. "I really love this community and the children in it, so I like to form connections with them so I have better relationships with them, which ultimately helps me to be as effective as possible in the classroom."Phoebe Billups
In addition to Lau and McDaniel, other C4K Knox Fellows included Alex Kellogg, Julia Porter, Favy Moreno, Hannah King, Atithya Ghai, Brian Walsh, Errol Kaylor, and Sofia Gillespie.
This year's C4K received funding from Verizon to support STEM-focused classes.