Kids’ College makes learning active endeavor

WEB-6-25-kidscollege

Eric Norwood Jr.: PNT photo
Lead teacher Amanda Lale, left, Alexis Maguire, center, and Anthony Riccardi participate in a volcano experiment Monday during Kids’ College at ENMU.

By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT Staff Writer
enorwood@pntonline.com
Most children don’t get to college until they’re 18. However, the Kids’ College program at Eastern New Mexico University provides children the opportunity to not only stay active during the summer, but experience fun and educational activities on a real college campus.
Kids’ College is an annual program offered at ENMU designed to provide summer enrichment as well as physical activity for children.
Lead teacher Amanda Lale says changes have been made to this year’s program.
“This year features more counselor involvement,” Lale said. “The past couple years everything was pretty much planned for us. Now this year the counselors all sit down and plan things, such as our weekly theme.”
Themes such as the Olympics, dinosaurs and outer space integrate fun into the learning process for children.
The children do physical education every morning, with games varying from kickball to dodgeball.
“We did Olympic stuff (Monday),” said 5-year old Nico Arango. “We had to run, and walk backwards and jump rope.”
In addition to this, they go swimming everyday at the ENMU Natatorium.
Alexis Maguire, 11, has been attending Kids’ College for five years.
“My favorite activity is swimming,” she says.
Besides physical activity, Kids’ College also keeps the minds of the children sharp during the down time of summer, according to Lale.
Students attend classes featuring science, art, computers and reading daily.
“We want to keep the educational value but make it fun as well,” Lale said.
The children do science projects such as making volcanoes. Art projects feature drawings, paintings, and crafts. In computer classes, the children learn how to use computers, as well as play games online.
Aubrey Wells, 9, has been enjoying the learning portion of the program.
“I like the science because we always get to do fun stuff,” Wells said.
Being on a college campus also seems to have some influence on the children. Wells said she wants to go to ENMU when she is older.
“The campus is really neat,” she added.
The two-month program runs from June to the end of July and the children are there all day, from around 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Students also receive lunch and a snack.

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