For the past 10 years, Waxahachie ISD teachers have given elementary students the university experience through the annual Kids College.
Melissa Wells, a dyslexia therapist for Waxahachie ISD, heads the program that gives students an exciting take on academics in a college setting. For the past two weeks, 140 students rotated through STEAM-related classes at Navarro College in Waxahachie.
The program is slightly different from school with more hands-on, project-based experiences.
“Honestly, it’s the stuff you’d like to do at school that you don’t get the opportunity it,” Wells explained.
Each week a different group of 70 kids rotates through five, 45-minute classes and each class represents a different letter of STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The class day is from 9 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
All of the teachers who work with Kids College are teachers or aides with WISD. All of the students are in first through fifth grade.
“Doing what you’re doing for different age groups, you pretty much have a plan and we have little bitties going into first grade and you have to make it work for them and then you have kids that are about to go into sixth grade, so you definitely have to make it more challenging for them.”
“Seats fill up really fast here,” Wells emphasized. “We’ve got some kids that come every year until they are too old for it. We have established a rapport with people around here.”
The curriculum brings fun into the classroom, and each day of the week, projects change in each class, so the kids are getting their hands on something new and creating a unique experience.
“They are constantly changing, which is great for their attention span and keeps things flowing,” Wells elaborated.
Wells stressed the importance of maintaining academics over the summertime and keeping their minds sharp.
“What I’ve noticed with parents is that they want the structure to where their kids are still doing something and have to wake up, but they want it to be fun. They are learning things that aren’t’ with paper and pen and are still engaging from a different perspective, and I think that really helps them.”
Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450