Inspiring young minds


Kids on Campus program establishes 35th year
By Casey Samyn
Campus Life Editor
Schoolcraft College’s Kids on Campus program is celebrating its 35th year of youth day camps, this summer.
Kids on Campus started out as a program called Kaleidoscope, which was a small group of classes targeted towards gifted children, but the program has exponentially expanded.
While there were previously only three sessions of weeklong classes for children grades K-12, there are five this year.
“We’re always looking at new topics, creating innovative ideas for camps.” Kids on Campus program manager Michele Bialo said about the additional classes.
Bialo hires K-12 instructors to teach Kids on Campus classes. Lessons are taught in a variety of ways, and students learn through practical hands-on experience. New classes this year include the preschool program; Dinosaur Detective for first and second graders; Econkids for third and fourth graders; The Great Debate class for fifth and sixth graders; the Digital Photography, Discovery Fire Academy and Inventors Workshop for junior high; and Architects in the Making is available to high school students.
Bialo said her favorite classes are probably the early elementary hands-on courses, but she also loves to see what the culinary and art camps produce.
“The kids who come here seem to have a really good time,” she said.
Austin Klotz, 8, participated in Robots Rule and built a machine that was supposed to shoot a ball through a hoop. When he ran out of time to finish it, he was determined to put a hammer on his robot instead to smash the other robots in a battle on the last day of class. Klotz explained that several different robots were created during the course of the week.
John Scollon, Austin’s instructor of Robots Rule, is entering his seventh year as a Kids on Campus instructor and said that he enjoys the Schoolcraft youth camps because unlike many other programs, each child has their own computer and work station, as opposed to groups of three or four kids in one area. Each child receives materials to work with and has plenty of space.
Scollon said he gets ideas for different robots from the Lego website or comes up with designs on his own, sometimes modifying the difficulty level for the kids.
In addition to the “before and after care” that is available for the children, Art and Diane Rockall also provide scholarship funds for families in need of financial assistance.
As a way to commemorate the beginnings of this unique program, every child will receive a Kaleidoscope at the end of their class session. From theater to science, there is something for every child to relate to and enjoy at Kids on Campus.
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