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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 28, 2016

7/9/2013 10:09:00 AM
College for Kids rebuilds after 1-year hiatus

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter

This summer marks the revival of College for Kids at Yavapai's Verde campus.

The program for children and young teens was suspended last year while the campus underwent renovations.

The program began in the Verde Valley in the mid-'90s, growing to 320 enrollments and spreading to the Prescott campus, Yavapai College Foundation Development Officer Linda Buchanan said.

"We no doubt lost some of the continuity there, but Nancy Gottschalk is just going to be a fantastic program coordinator," Buchanan said. "She's brought so many new ideas to it, and she's breathing new life into it, and it'll be right back up where it was."

Gottschalk became the campus' new community education coordinator in January, taking charge of College for Kids for the first time this summer. Monday was the first day of the second summer session, which enrolled about 50 students, she said.

Ancient Technologies is one of three courses offered in the second session. Children ages 8 to 15 will go on field trips, use microscopes to inspect artifacts and then recreate those artifacts, and conduct research into subjects of interest.

"So maybe in school they learn a little bit about ancient cultures, but in this class they really get to delve into that subject," Gottschalk said. "You take a subject that you might only get a taste of in a regular school setting, and then you really get to dive in in College for Kids."

Lindsay Plas teaches health, physical education and body conditioning at Mingus Union High School. After getting an email about College for Kids looking for summer instructors, she sent in her proposal for a class called "It's a Girl Thing."

The class begins with an exercise component, and then delves into discussions about issues facing girls today, like bullying, the importance of exercise, and cultivating a positive body image.

"I've done a similar program at another school," Plas said. "I thought this would be easy to implement here."

Kim Jackson, a K-2 teacher at Big Park School, signed her 9-year-old daughter Molly up for the class after reading a College for Kids flier that was given to teachers to share with their students.

"It looked like a good thing for girls," Jackson said. "I liked the fitness and the leadership aspects of it."

Classes cost $70 to $100 and last three weeks. The Yavapai College Foundation and the Yavapai County Community Foundation supported 40 scholarships this summer.

"The scholarship program makes sure that it's not impossible for families that are already struggling with other choices," Buchanan said.

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