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posted: 4/12/2012 11:54 AM

Kids have fun, learn at Waubonsee summer camps

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By Dr. Christine Sobek
Waubonsee Community College

Summer is a wonderful time of year -- especially in the Fox Valley. The warmth of the sun brings with it a bounty of locally grown produce and lasting memories for children and adults alike.

Some families pack up the car to explore America, while others enjoy outdoor activities close to home.

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Whether you're watching a Kane County Cougars game, visiting the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora or making a splash at Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville, there is no shortage of summertime fun.

Along with these staples of summer, parents can ensure that their children continue learning while they enjoy a memorable and exciting summer. Studies show that elementary and secondary school students lose an average of one to two months of learning over the summer break. This phenomenon varies depending on grade level, socioeconomic status and subject matter.

Recognizing that keeping children interested in learning and engaged throughout the summer is a significant need, Waubonsee Community College launched its Xcelerate summer camps two years ago to create a safe, fun and educational setting for children. Soon to begin its third year, Xcelerate will be bigger, better and offer more variety this summer. The camps have expanded to now serve preschool age through older teens at five sites throughout the community.

Last year, campers loved the Lego robotics camp so we've added an additional Lego robots spinoff called Lego Robot Revenge. Science and technology camps are a real strength of the program, with gaming and digital arts camps also quite popular.

These camps all have limited space, so we encourage parents to register children soon. Parents can learn more by visiting waubonsee.edu/Xcelerate.

High school students can also get a jump-start on their studies by enrolling in Waubonsee's summer high school program. Offered at Waubonsee's Sugar Grove, Aurora and Copley Campuses, as well as West Aurora High School, these classes allow students to catch up on required courses or work ahead.

Courses include algebra, American literature, American government, U.S. history, geometry, economics, health, personal fitness and more. More details are available at waubonsee.edu/hssp.

Summer is a great time to explore learning and new interests in a fun and relaxed way. Fall will be here again before we know it so use the summer wisely -- get out there, have fun and never stop learning.

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