Before they are even old enough to drive, students as young as age 3 are stepping foot on a college campus in the summertime to “learn and play through C4K.” That’s the slogan of the College for Kids Program at Macomb Community College in Clinton Township – which, as of 2019, is in its 14th year. The program, which welcomes students up to age 17, provides a “college campus connection” and introduces children to various career paths through summer camp opportunities.

“While they’re playing or enjoying the concepts or the topics being discussed in class, they are learning instrumental components of future career pathways,” says Valerie Corbett, the program coordinator for Workforce and Continuing Education, Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College. “Starting them younger allows them to possibly generate additional interests.”

Getting that early exposure to careers is key to student success later on – and, through programs like this, it means these students aren’t missing out on exploring potential pathways simply because they aren’t aware of those opportunities.

While the College for Kids program is offered year-round, it boasts its largest selection of classes during the summer months. Here, Corbett offers insight into the College for Kids program in summer 2019.

The gaming trend

Fornite, Roblox, virtual reality, mobile app design and more – these topics are at the forefront of most of today’s kids’ minds, Corbett says. So it was natural for the program to focus on these areas of interest.

“For this summer specifically, we are a little bit more on a technology and gaming focus,” she says. “We’re focusing a little more on coding and video game creation and animation.”

From the stop motion-focused Bricks & Sticks Stop Animation for ages 6-8 to the Battle Royale Fornite-Style Video Games class for ages 11-14 and the Apple iO: Make Your First App camp for ages 8-10, there’s something for everyone this summer.

A young musical start

The younger set – kids ages 3-7 – can explore music through the Tiny Tunes Piano program, which has been around for 14 years. The class is offered one day per week for six weeks, Corbett says. Kids learn to read music by the end of the first class, and, by the end of six weeks, those children learn how to play a song. As they move from preschool beginner to Young 5s beginner to intermediate, students not only cultivate a love of music; they do better in scholastic areas, too.

“Studies have shown that students who study music do excel in science and math areas,” Corbett says.

Get involved

Each camp takes place at the Center Campus, located on Hall Road in Clinton Township. Camps take place in three-hour increments for five consecutive days. Class sizes range from four to 15 kids. “We try to keep it where there’s a lot of one-on-one with the instructor,” Corbett says.

Having that campus experience is an added bonus to the top-notch programming. “We have kids that get excited and they tell their friends and family, ‘I’m going to college today!'” Corbett says.

Macomb County maintains a directory of all of this summer’s day camp experiences on the Make Macomb Your Home website. With themes ranging from arts and sport to career exploration and more, there is something for every child. Explore it here.

For more information on summertime camp offerings, or to register, visit the Macomb Community College website.