- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
In the summer, kids and teens take over the classrooms at the College of Southern Maryland.
Some 3,700 children and teens are enrolled in Kids’ and Teen College at the Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s county campuses.
Kids’ College offers summer enrichment programs for children 5 to 10 while the Teen College offers enrichment programs for children 11 to 17.
There are 290 weeklong programs running at various times during the summer, according to information provided by CSM.
Rudee Brothers, 12, tried her hand at creating art out of tape this week at the duct tape art program.
Rudee said she likes art and asked to sign up for the program because “I wanted to see how creative I could be.”
She said she also wanted to show her parents that she could take part in more art-related activities besides drawing.
On the first day of the program Rudee already had made a hair bow out of colorful duct tape, decorated a folder for class and made a pencil holder.
With the tape coming in an assortment of colors and designs, participants in the program had no trouble making each project reflect their personalities.
Lane McConnel, 14, said this was his second summer participating in the duct tape art program.
He said the program was “pretty cool” last year and wanted to make new stuff this year.
Right next door to the duct tape program, young children were getting their math skills sharpened with a creative math program.
A little farther down the hall, another group of children was working on their strategy skills with a program focusing on chess and backgammon.
Instructor Patricia Wilson said aside from learning how to play the popular strategy games, children were learning proper etiquette and how to get along with others.
At a superhero program, children were creating and designing their own characters such as Mohawk Man, designed by D.J. Morse, 7.
Like many superheroes, Mohawk Man fights evil. His power comes from his stylish Mohawk, which also produces lightning, but D.J. said if Mohawk Man’s hair gets cut, his powers diminish.
D.J. said he likes learning about superheroes and creating his own at the program.
Programs at all three CSM locations focus on a variety of topics, including academic and physical fitness programs.
This summer there are 3,744 participants, 1,933 in La Plata, 1,060 in Leonardtown and 751 in Prince Frederick.
John Terlesky, coordinator of the Kids’ College programs, said participation is rising as there still are several weeks of programs left.
Terlesky said Kids’ College has been around for about 15 years and enrollment has been steady despite economic issues in the past few years.
Children, he said, can expect to have a great learning opportunity with each program, combined with a great time.
“Children want to have fun in the summer,” Terlesky said.
The summer programs at CSM provide that good time and tie it in with educational components.
A big factor in combining learning with fun is the instructors.
Terlesky said teachers for the Kids’ College are paired with the programs that suit their interests and each one seems to make the most out of the weeklong program.
While Terlesky said he doesn’t have a favorite program, he enjoys watching children get involved in the arts and the robotics programs.
Mostly, he enjoys seeing the children engaged and excited to be in the programs.
“It’s good to see the children have a great learning experience,” Terlesky said, and engaged in activities that don’t involve sitting around and watching television.
Because the college is open to students all around the area and not just specific zones, Terlesky said participants are meeting new friends from many different backgrounds.
The programs at the college are continuing through the third week of August and Terlesky said many programs still are open for enrollment.
Lane said aside from having a good time, what brings him back for another year of programs are “the amazing counselors.”
For more information on Kids’ and Teen College, go to www.csm.edu/KidsCollege.