(MORE PHOTOS BELOW) If you happened to walk by a classroom this summer and saw younger-than-usual college students in bright yellow t-shirts dissecting cows’ eyeballs in a microscopy class or making slime in a chemistry lab, those were the 6th-9th graders enrolled in Kids College who were getting their first taste of college life–and having fun at the same time!
For the 9th year, Kids College has been offering these young adults the chance to get hands-on college experiences in Merritt’s classrooms taught by Merritt’s own faculty to prepare them for making decisions about their future. Along with the science classes, the campers worked on computers, learned about fingerprinting and careers in police work, participated in the martial art/dance form capoeira, got creative with art and hip hop dance lessons, had fun decorating (and eating!) cupcakes, learned entrepreneurial skills and debate techniques, and participated in classes about nutrition, nursing, fashion/photography, and fire science, and went on a treasure hunt. And of course the campers had plenty of time to get out their energy with free-time playing sports and making friends.
On “graduation” day, in front of friends and family, groups of campers made presentations based on what they learned in their entrepreneur class: a plan for a business they created and an explanation of how the business would give back to the community.
“It’s a great opportunity for the campers to try out different activities that may give them ideas about future careers just as they are beginning to think about college,” says Ne’Shawn Dixon, Kids College Coordinator. “We’re lucky at Merritt to have such great programs for the students to participate in and instructors who are willing to give their time.”
Ne’Shawn would like to thank faculty members who did an amazing job with the kids: Margaret Dixon (Administration of Justice); Elaine Wallace (CSI/Administration of Justice); Laura Coooper (Chemistry); Mary Zernicke (Nutrition); and Eric Hansen (Music). And instructors from the community: Kenneth Pitts of Pitts Martial Arts (Capoeira) and Choreographer Kayla Hightower (Dance).
Thanks also to the camp’s dedicated counselors Brianna Brown (lead), Ariel Gilliam, Austin Cook, and Ruqaiyah Ghilchrist for supervising the campers, working with the instructors, and demonstrating leadership skills.
And, as always, thanks for the help of our great custodial staff: Vince and James.
For information about next year’s camp, go to www.merritt.edu/kids-college, or contact Camp Coordinator Ne’Shawn Dixon at (510) 434-3939 or at MerrittKidsCollege@peralta.edu.