Innovative Ways Community Colleges are Bringing Youth to their Campuses
We look at the many opportunities teens and kids can explore the local community college campus, through college-sponsored classes, camps and other activities.
A community college campus is typically filled with adults of all ages, books and backpacks in hand, moving from class to class. However, some community college campuses are adding a more youthful flavor to their ivied halls, with programs of all kinds designed for the younger set. Check out these innovative ways community colleges are giving younger students a taste of campus life, with special programs created just for them.
Science Olympiad Attracts Young Scientists
Mott Community College becomes a hot spot for young scientists every year, when it hosts its annual Region V Science Olympiad. According to mLive, the event attracts middle and high school students from Livingston, Lapeer, Genesee and Shiawassee. Students compete in a variety of events constructing machines, flying helicopters and designing robotics.
High school students participate during morning events, and middle schoolers compete in the afternoon session. Many of the events are open to the public, and the event draws a crowd of parents, teachers and interested community members. Students who come out on top in their events will advance to the state tournament of the Science Olympiad. The statewide event is to be held later this spring at Michigan University. There is also a national competition for those who do well in the state contests, which takes place at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in May.
Budding Artists Find a Venue
Sussex County Community College finds a very different way to attract younger students from around the county. This New Jersey schools is hosting a Teen Arts Festival, featuring a collection of artwork from students at 22 high schools, middle schools and private schools around the state. The annual event takes place every March, according to a report at the Alternative Press, and has been going strong since 1969.
The Teen Arts Festival is about much more than simply giving budding artists a venue for showcasing their work. Professional artists attend the event, providing feedback and encouragement to the student artists. In addition, workshops are offered throughout the festival, offering teens instruction in drawing, painting, photography and jewelry making. “Stop ‘n Go” workshops allow students to come and go at their leisure, and offer quick tutorials in subjects like henna tattoos, origami and beaded key chains.
Workshops for performance art are also available during the Teen Arts Festival. Budding actors and actresses can find a wealth of class options, including mime, magic and improvisation. Students could also talk to a professional local actor about how to survive in the acting business.
“Everything in [the festival] has art,” Stella Trikouros, coordinator for the Teen Arts Festival, told the Alternative Press. “One does not have to be great at the arts, but that does not mean they cannot appreciate it. Art helps people think outside the box. We do not do teen arts with the hope every student will pursue it, but some do in the future.”
Test Prep Classes Now Available
Raritan Valley Community College is attracting even younger students with a very different kind of purpose in mind – test preparation. With the focus on standardized testing hitting schools in every state, including New Jersey, this school has designed a program to help students make the test taking experience as successful as possible. NJ.com reports that the community college offers three different test prep courses, for grades three through eight.
While test prep courses cannot provide specific information about questions on standardized examinations, they can offer students strategies to successful test taking. The classes also provide basic overviews of subjects covered on the standardized tests in the state, including language arts and mathematics.
Aspiring Actors Participate in Festival
At Somerset Community College in Kentucky, young students with dreams of the stage can make their dreams a reality through the annual Teen Theatre and Film Festival. Before the festival begins, teens can participate in a host of workshops involving the various areas of stage performance. According to the school’s website, middle and high school students from local schools, youth groups and other organizations are urged to take part.
The workshops prepare students for the one-day festival, where students can meet others who share a love of the stage and performing. Competitions are included in the festival event, which culminate into an awards ceremony at the end of the day. The festival is held annually in March at the Somerset Community College campus.
Workshop Options Provide Place for Kids During Time Off
In addition to test preparation classes, Raritan Valley Community College also provides a variety of programs for younger students when school is not in session. According to the school’s website, students can take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities, including Lego workshops, theatre and improvisation and art classes. The programs are offered during the spring and summer months, with individual fees for each class.
Classes are available for students from age eight, all the way through the teen years. The classes generally last for a number of hours during the day, offering students a safe, productive place to be when school is not in session and parents are at work. The college also offers extended hours for students that require additional supervised time on the campus.
These community colleges prove you don’t have to wait until high school graduation to reap the many benefits of the local college campus. With a wide range of options designed specifically with teens and even younger students in mind, these schools are giving students the chance to experience a small portion of college life by pursuing a wide range of interests and activities.
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