FARMINGTON — Now in its 26th year at San Juan College, the Kids Kollege summer program aims to provide youth an opportunity to explore and expand their areas of interest.
The college's Community Learning Center organizes the program, which runs from June 3 to July 26. Now through July 22, parents can register their child in one of the seven sessions.
"It gives kids a chance to learn without the expectations and the academic standards teachers have to deal with," said Liesl Dees, director of the center. "We really want to get kids excited about learning."
About 200 classes during the seven week program will cover a variety of topics like art, sports, dance, cooking and nutrition.
"Some classes are more academic like Math Magic, where we help kids struggling with math, and Science on a Shoestring, where we help kids explore the world around them," Dees said.
Dees said organizers try to experiment with new classes each year to explore timely and trendy topics. But they also try the established classes students like.
For example, one new class this year is called Zombie Play. Students will learn how to talk, walk and explore what it takes to become a quality zombie.
Also new this year are two free classes to help students learn about the oil and gas industry and historical ruins at Chaco Canyon.
With funding from BP America and sponsored by the college's School of Energy, the Summer Energy Camp is a free class available for students to explore a wide variety of energy-related careers.
"(The students) are going to do a number of field trips, and we're bringing various industrial professionals to speak," Dees said. "We're going to have a lot of hands-on experiments to help make the connection with academic skills and knowledge."
In a partnership with Chaco Culture National Historical Park, students will spend three days on campus learning about the history and culture of the Chacoan people along with other landmarks within Chaco Canyon.
During two day trips to the canyon, students will learn about the canyon and then escort their family members around the area.
"The kids will be leading the tour of Chaco (Canyon), sharing all the cool things they learned all week," Dees said.
With more than 200 classes available, parents interested in enrolling their children are encouraged to view the online program catalog before registering, said Lucy Haber, assistant director of the Community Learning Center.
"They can sit down with their children and see the schedule of what we offer, so they'll be more prepared," Haber said.
Joshua Kellogg can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.