|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Stark State program morphs fun into learning

  • From learning about the inner workings of animals to how to be a professional bubble maker or becoming a film critic or learning to write a book, the annual Kids’ College at Stark State College offers new meaning to summer school and going to college.

    • email print
  • From learning about the inner workings of animals to how to be a professional bubble maker or becoming a film critic or learning to write a book, the annual Kids’ College at Stark State College offers new meaning to summer school and going to college.
    Russ O’Neill, director of continuing education and the coordinator of Kids’ College, said he and his staff have fun hearing the kids say that they are “going to college.”
    “We have 550 kids this year ranging from those who just completed first grade up to and including seventh,” O’Neill said. “You can see and hear the energy level and excitement in the classrooms.”
    FOUR FUN WEEKS
    This marks the 12th year for Kids’ College at Stark State College in North Canton. It’s held over four weeks starting the week of June 10 with the last week starting July 1. There are more than 100 classes total with 24 new classes offered for the first time this year.
    Stephanie Skolosh, one of the teachers at Kids’ College and a teacher at St. Paul’s in North Canton, has been teaching with the program for 11 years.
    “Teaching these kinds of classes is what every teacher loves to do,” Skolosh said. “We can turn the kids loose and let them be creative and there is no pressure on the kids.”
    Vern Kesweder teaches the Balloon Man classes. He said he was making balloon animals at Joe’s Crab Shack that used to be located on the Strip when he met O’Neill.
    “He was there eating dinner and asked me if I was interested in teaching for a new program he was starting and I said, ‘yes,’” Kesweder said. “I’ve been teaching every year since with Kids’ College. Last year, my class was voted the number-one favorite by the kids.”
    COURSE OFFERINGS
    Students can select from crafts, dinosaurs, sports, computer, dance, drawing, writing and a slew of other courses. There are 28 teachers who many continue to come back year after year.
    “It’s important to give the kids a different opportunity to learn in an atmosphere where there is as much fun as learning going on,” O’Neill said. “Kids’ College also gives the teachers a different teaching experience.”
    O’Neill said some of the longtime favorite classes include Balloon Man, Leggo Mania, Flight Simulator, Crime Scene Investigator, History of Chocolate and Survivor’s Island. He said they try to add new classes every year because so many kids keep coming back every year.
    All of the classes are held at the Advanced Technology Center. The scheduling is convenient and parents can buy all day or half day registrations.