From left, Zayeh Johnson, Johanna Davids, Cy Snyder and Aspyn Kaskalla sing and dance on Wednesday during Kids Kollege at San Juan College in Farmington.
From left, Zayeh Johnson, Johanna Davids, Cy Snyder and Aspyn Kaskalla sing and dance on Wednesday during Kids Kollege at San Juan College in Farmington. (Jon Austria/ The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Teacher Michele Bateman sat in a corner on Wednesday at San Juan College, surrounded by a group of 4- and 5-year-old children.

When she called out a child's name, the child ran up and selected a stuffed frog from a basket of toys at her feet.

Then all of the children sang, "Three little freckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log, eating some most-delicious bugs." When the group got to the part where a "little freckled frog" jumped into the pool of water, the children leapt out of their chairs.

Bateman teaches Little Science Academy, one of more than 200 classes offered by San Juan College's Kids Kollege.

Kids Kollege classes have been offered in the summer for the last 27 years and feature everything from life skills, like cooking, to education and career exploration.

This year, 1,229 students have enrolled in Kids Kollege classes, as of Wednesday. Last year, 1,598 students participated in the summer program.

Aspyn Kaskalla is one of the children in Bateman's class.

"I like every single part about it," she said on Wednesday.

She said "Miss Michele" once demonstrated a chemical reaction by combining baking soda and vinegar in a cup.

"Miss Michele put some powder in it, and then she put some vinegar in it, and boom! It went out of the cup," she said.

Kids Kollege classes are divided into week-long sessions. The program is currently in its fifth week and has two more weeks of classes left.

The majority of classes cost about $37, although some of the more technical classes, such as Minecraft Designers and Make Your First 3-D Video Game! are more expensive. Other classes, such as those offered in partnership with the National Park Service Junior Ranger program, are free.

Liesl Dees, the director of the college's Community Learning Center, said one of the most popular classes this year has been the Safe Sitter class, which is geared toward children ages 11 to 15.

Del Thomas teaches Dax Vigil how to fix his tire on Wednesday during Kids Kollege at San Juan College in Farmington.
Del Thomas teaches Dax Vigil how to fix his tire on Wednesday during Kids Kollege at San Juan College in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

The class has been so popular the college added an additional session and is planning on continuing the class during the school year.

Dees said the class is for children who want to learn how to baby-sit, as well as for children who stay at home alone frequently. It teaches them what to do in an emergency, when to call 911 and how to perform skills like choking rescue.

Dees said the mission of Kids Kollege is to provide "young people with exciting learning opportunities that allow students to explore, expand and experience areas of interest."

"I love that idea because sometimes we're tapping into a passion that kids already have and sometimes we're igniting a new passion," she said.

REGISTER

To register: Stop by Room 1911 in the Community Learning Center in the West Classroom Complex of San Juan College between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to fill out a registration form. You will need to bring the student's social security number and date of birth.

More info: Go to sanjuancollege.edu/kidskollege.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.