College for Kids sees record numbers
By Mary Mason
Over 740 kids from Muscatine and the surrounding area spent two weeks of their summer engaged in fun, hands-on learning. College For Kids was held in the mornings during the weeks of June 13 and June 20.
MCSD students grades 1 through 6 were joined by students from Columbus Junction, Rockridge, L-M, West Liberty, Wilton, Durant, and Wapello. Kids can qualify through test scores or by teacher recommendation. Once accepted, students can sign up for one, two, or three courses. Courses range from art-based classes such as origami and tie-dye to web design and even chemistry.
Central Middle School guidance counselor Troy Kulland and West Middle School teacher Laurie Schroder express the importance of keeping the art programs alive, while adding in academically challenging classes as well. The program utilized the STEAM model, incorporating science, technology, engineering, art and math.
While teachers are responsible for creating their curriculum, several Muscatine High School students spent time volunteering. Student volunteers assist teachers in the classrooms with set-up and clean up. Incoming freshman Alli Youngbauer explains, “You’re really just a friend to the kids. You help them when they need it, and just hang out the rest of the time.”
Students can volunteer beginning the summer following their 8th grade year through the summer prior to their senior year. Volunteers who choose to help out receive 40 silver cord hours for the two-week time spread. High school students need to have 160 silver cord hours at the time of graduation to qualify for the cord. All of these hours can be earned by assisting with the College For Kids program.
Eric Patino will be a senior at MHS next year. Patino has helped with the program all four years. He says the program helps kids and families. “It makes sure kids have somewhere fun to go, and they are learning at the same time.”
More information on Muscatine’s College For Kids can be found at the student-designed MuscatineC4K.weebly.com.