116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - After a year of learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, children can get a boost to their education this summer as Kirkwood Community College resumes in-person 'Interactive Camps for Kids” - albeit with public health protocols.
The camps offer hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math-focused programs to alleviate the summer - and now pandemic - learning loss.
Kids can experience virtual reality, video game design, sustainable agriculture, social justice, debate, public speaking and other topics during the Kirkwood Interactive Camps for Kids - or KICK - being offered in-person after 2020 programs were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amanda Weeks, KICK program director, said it was important for the camp to offer in-person programs after a year of learning challenges.
After dealing with COVID-19 protocols for so long, students at the camps should be familiar with them:
KICK class sizes will be decreased by half, from 12 to six students, for social distancing.
Masks will be required and classrooms will be sanitized after each group of students. Temperature checks will be required as students arrive in the morning.
KICK held its first spring break program this past week, offering cooking, welding and computer classes in addition to virtual programming in science and technology.
David Jennerjohn, Sustainable Agriculture KICK instructor and instructor at Kirkwood, is looking forward to his first KICK class - teaching kids how to garden and where their food comes from.
The program will use the Iowa Sustainability Village on Kirkwood's campus for class.
Jennerjohn will be teaching kids how gardens work. They will learn about the life cycle of a plant and harvest produce and seeds.
They will form a 'seed ball,” which Jennerjohn said will be full of seeds of native, flowering plants that can help sustain butterflies and bees.
By the time these kids go to college and start their careers, sustainability will be a big field important to agriculture, technology and business, Jennerjohn said.
'Sustainability is so important, and I think it's going to continue to be a larger and larger issue as the world moves into an understanding that we have a finite amount of resources,” he said.
Social justice is another new program this year, inspired by the Black Lives Matter marches last summer.
'Students are going to experience world views they wouldn't normally,” Weeks said. 'We will look at poverty and inequality and gain understanding of what it might be like to experience that.”
There are also college prep and culinary options. In all, there are over 175 KICK programs. All camps are for kids ages 8 to 15 and there is room for about 1,400.
Tuition for camps ranges from $50 to $175, depending on the length of the camp. There are scholarships available.
Camps are offered in Cedar Rapids, Coralville and online starting in June. Virtual camps include a 30-day, self-paced space camp.
For more information or to register, visit kirkwood.edu/kick or call 319-398-1022. For tuition assistance, visit the website or call 319-398-5529.
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