FARMINGTON — As temperatures reach triple digits around San Juan county, children are beating the heat and learning something new along the way at San Juan College.
Kids Kollege classes hit the midway point Friday as the program takes a week off for the Fourth of July holiday. The program offers about 200 classes covering a wide variety of subjects planned by the college's Community Learning Center.
"We're trying to connect the fun aspect of summer and the learning part of college," said Liesl Dees, the center's director.
Enrollment for this year is about 1,506 students, including students who may have enrolled in more than one class. Dees said last year's total enrollment finished at about 1,496 students.
"I think the numbers reflect a small, steady general increase," Dees said. "Every year we hope to add a few more classes, not an insane amount."
One of the year's new classes is "The Human Body: You are Amazing," for ages six through eight interested in learning how the human body operates through a series of movement-based games.
Instructor Kate Enenbach taught her class how to measure their heart rate and to test how their heart rate was affected by exercise. She took them outside to run laps and perform other aerobic activities. Enenbach said she was trying to show how the body needs more oxygen for the heart when they are active.
In the shade of trees between the educational service building and the west classroom complex, Enenbach's students performed push-ups and jumping jacks before sitting on the grassy lawn and measuring their heart rates.
Student Corben Robinson was eager to learn more about human body.
"I'm interested in the red blood cells and interested in what they do," Robinson said.
Instructor Mary Beth Yates said students were asked to bring clothing from home they wanted to give a new life to.
"We've been doing some color mixing and we've been experimenting with how easy it is to mix colors with a small set of colors," Yates said. "On a smaller scale, (you can) be creative and learn how to do some really creative work without a lot of supplies necessarily."
Twelve-year-old Rebekah Mackey prepared to print a hot pink butterfly onto her sister's jackets.
When asked what her favorite part of the class was, she responded "The fact that there (are) only girls in the class."
For Yates, being able to teach an art class and share her techniques with interested students are what brings her back to teach Kids Kollege classes.
"I love teaching kids who are interested in learning something that is new and something they wouldn't necessarily learn in school," Yates said.