Elgin Community College will host students ages 6 to 16 this summer in weeklong day camps offering enrichment opportunities while school is out.
Budding lawyers, astronauts, filmmakers, writers, interior designers, artists, chefs, video game makers, actors and musicians will have the chance to hone their skills during the fifth year of ECC's Kids College.
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Joan Arnal, Kids College course developer, said parents have asked for courses their children don't have access to during the school year. That means pure academic subjects don't often make the list -- but pre-algebra for 11- to 13-year-olds is available for those who want to keep their math skills sharp.
That's not to say the rest of the courses are fluff.
Students will have the chance to learn about space from a NASA Ambassador, plan a futuristic city, build simple machines, practice their Spanish speaking skills, make a video game and create a movie from start to finish.
"It's fun," Arnal said. "But every class has a purpose."
Most of the half-day classes last one week between mid-June and the end of July, though some last all day. Cost is generally $139 per course with scholarship opportunities available.
Arnal said the program started five years ago and has grown since then. It is open to students in the Elgin Community College district and beyond. Students from as far off as Wisconsin have enrolled.
Highlights for this year include the ever-popular Kids vs. Wild course, which builds outdoor skills, a Writing Academy that puts aspiring writers in the same room as published authors and a new Future Filmmakers Academy to teach kids how to be directors.
Arnal said the side benefit of all these courses is the fact it brings children to the college campus.
"That's one of our purposes too," Arnal said, "to instill in the young students that there's a future in college for them."
Registration will be open until the classes fill up or the course starts.
For more information, call Arnal at (847) 214-7123 or visit elgin.edu/kidscollege.