Santa Fe College offers a unique summer program to school children that introduces them to college via academic core and elective classes.
As much as summer is about freedom and fun, those long days at the beach or in front of the television also lead to dormant minds.
In 1998, the Office of Community Education at Santa Fe College created a program that wouldn’t ruin summer but would enable school-age children to keep their minds active through a variety of fun, but challenging, classes. They called the program College for Kids.
Offering both academic and recreational classes, College for Kids hopes to “expose students to the college environment, provide a challenging learning experience beyond an average school environment, and educate students through critical thinking and a desire for lifelong learning and discovery.”
The summer program offers more than 60 classes per session. Those classes vary from math and biology to soccer and modern dance.
The variety is meant to introduce students to the idea of taking both core and elective classes, just like college students. And by placing the focus more on developing curiosity than on tests or exams, the students are free to explore classes and interests they might otherwise avoid.
The instructors are key to helping the students embrace this experience and include public school teachers, University of Florida graduate students, Santa Fe students and other professionals. Instructors are assisted by high school students volunteering for Santa Fe’s Counselor in Training program.
College for Kids is open to fifth-graders through ninth-graders. Two two-week sessions are available for full or half days. Participating students gain access to all facilities on the Santa Fe College Northwest campus, including the science labs, dance studios and zoo.
Now in its 15th year, this all-access, hands-on approach to learning continues to touch students and make sure their brains remain active, even in the summer.
For more information on the College for Kids sessions and other programs offered at Santa Fe College, visit www.sfcollege.edu/cied/communityed/?section=cfk/CFKinfo.