Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) believes no one’s too old, or too young for that matter, to take college classes. While plenty of our students are middle-aged and older, others haven’t even made it to high school yet. These are our Kids College students.
Kids College is a program EMCC offers every summer to children ages 4 to 16. The program, which began about 10 years ago with a small handful of culinary and computer classes, has grown substantially over the years and now boasts close to 60 different classes.
Kids College kicks off June 3 with several classes to choose from, including Culinary Kids - the Bakery, Dance Camp, and Babysitting. New classes start up every week through July 29 with the exception of July 1-4. Most classes last fours days and meet Monday through Thursday, but some, such as Mariachi for Kids and Spanish for Kids, are four- and six-week classes.
“Our culinary classes are still some of our most popular offerings,” said Marcia Ford, Instructional Services Coordinator Senior who plans the Kids College program. “They’re so popular that we’ve added more and a new class starts every week this summer.”
Chef Steve Griffiths, EMCC Culinary Studies Program Director, said the culinary classes are so popular because kids love to eat.
“It’s a necessity of life,” Griffiths said. “And if we can teach them the value and enjoyment of cooking at a young age, even if it’s only for a week, it’s something that can benefit them the rest of their lives.”
Griffiths said culinary faculty enjoy teaching the classes because the kids are so inquisitive and excited to learn.
“They become very engaged and get excited about the little things, like having a race to see who can whip heavy cream to a soft peak the fastest,” he said.
Culinary class participants will learn kitchen safety and basic sanitation, Griffiths said, adding that can help at home. They’ll also learn how to read and execute a recipe, and will be exposed to different tools and equipment that are used every day by professional chefs.
Other Kids College classes include Dance Camp; Mariachi for Kids; Spanish for Kids; Woodworking for Kids; and Babysitting, CPR & First Aid. Students who successfully complete the babysitting class will receive American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) certification in basic first aid and adult, child and infant CPR including Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Ford encourages parents to send their children to Kids College because it provides them with a unique opportunity to have oodles of fun.
“There are so many different classes, so many different interests,” she said.
Several new classes have been added to the repertoire this year, including Culinary Kids — Tex-Mex Cuisine, Stop Animation, Storytelling Art, and Keyboarding Kick-Start, a two-week class.
“It doesn’t sound that exciting, but we’ve had more parents say their kids aren’t taught how to type in school,” Ford said. “And it’s probably more of an essential skill today than it was when it was offered in school.”
Another new class this year is Comic Book Cartooning, taught by Sean Sautter. Sautter, a self-taught artist, is currently working on a comic strip loosely based on his life experiences, as well as a children’s book.
“I’m so excited to have him this year,” Ford said. “He’s been a guest at so many different comic conventions and events. He’s even done Comic Cons.”
Gaming classes, including Battle Royale: Make Your First Fortnite Style Video Game, have also been added to Kids College this year. In this class, students will design their own games using professional 3D game development software. Their games will be available on a password protected website to share with family and friends.
Class costs vary and some include an additional supply fee. Registration can be done right up until the class starts, as long as there is still space. For a complete class listing and to register, go to http://bit.ly/EMCCKidsCollegeProgram.