Morgan Comnick says College for Kids was always “the best part of my summers.”
She is an alumna and now a teacher at Mineral Area College’s College for Kids program. In fact, she’s thrilled to have been involved with the program for the last 10 years. She can’t wait to receive her 10th CFK staff T-shirt.
“That seems like a big deal,” she says. “College for Kids is a program near and dear to my heart.”
Creating classes on topics she’s passionate about and sharing them with students through interactive lessons which stimulate kids academically and fuel their creativity is the best part for Comnick. She also enjoys working with “such a warm staff and wonderful campus.”
“It’s more than I can ask for as a teacher,” she says.
Comnick, who is a teacher at the Fredericktown School District, is teaching eight classes at this summer’s CFK: “Knights, Kings, Jesters, and Castles” (a medieval class); “Percy Jackson’s Mythology 101” and “Percy Jackson’s Greek Explosion Camp” (both classes on Greek mythology inspired by the beloved Percy Jackson’s series); “American Girls and Boys Cooking Party;” “Samurais, Sushi, and Ninjas” (a class on Japanese culture); “Babysitting Basics;” “Pikachu’s Pokemon Camp;” and “Writer’s Workshop.”
Most of her classes are for students going into fourth to eighth grade, except for Pikachu’s Pokemon Camp which is fourth and fifth grade and Writer’s Workshop for seventh and eighth graders.
“Students tell me how goofy I am,” said Comnick, “and I’ve been told the students like the projects and activities we do.”
Her goal is for students to learn something new through hands-on games, activities and projects along with cooperation and life skills.
“I am big on letting a child’s imagination soar to unlimited heights while still learning structure and manners to be good people.”
Comnick says she hopes to help her students achieve this and make cherished memories along the way, like the program did for her years ago.
“The students make me smile, laugh, swell with pride, and teach me new things,” she said. “This, and working with bosses I consider friends, is my favorite part of doing this program.”
College for Kids has been part of the MAC campus since the early 1990s. Pam Watkins is director of MAC’s Continuing Education, which encompasses CFK.
Melissa Kline has been director of CFK for two years.
“Although I take care of the planning, organizing and scheduling, Pam is the heart and soul of CFK,” said Kline. “She understands the program more thoroughly than anyone and literally has all of the answers.”
CFK 2019 offers three weeks of assorted classes and also includes MAC campus tours.
“CFK students are future MAC students so we wanted to let them see all of the exciting programs MAC has available to high school graduates,” said Kline.
Kids will tour the theater and talk to Chuck Gallaher, MAC theater director, along with the campus greenhouse and speak to Chad Follis. They’ll also visit the North College Center to see Chris Klusmeyer and technology and drafting labs, talk to Rich Flotron about personal and campus safety, and tour the nursing lab to speak with Angie Erickson and nursing students.
In addition to Comnick, Regina Brown-Vaughn is bringing back a favorite class called “Uke It Up,” and Ben Kline is doing “K-Nex Kids.” Other exciting classes include crime-themed classes where students solve mysteries using fingerprinting, simulated blood analysis, fiber analysis and more. There are martial arts and traditional karate classes with Farmington Martial Arts’ Ceth Jordan. Other options include STEM-related classes, sewing, babysitting, crafting, coding, cooking, writing and more.
This year’s CFK schedule consists of nearly 50 classes which are “a diverse and exciting offering of classes,” said Kline.
Kline says putting CFK together is a process which begins in December with recruitment of teachers. “It is very exciting to find great teachers within the Mineral Area and tap into all of their unique and creative ideas. It’s also exciting to have a schedule come together and be filled with exciting classes that students can’t wait to participate in.”
Although Kline doesn’t teach CFK courses, she makes sure all the teachers have everything they need to teach their classes. She moves from room to room, transfers supplies, helps students switch classes, and more. She walks several miles each day to ensure everything runs smoothly at CFK.
“What I enjoy most is walking into the classrooms and watching the kids engage in exciting activities,” she said.
College for Kids classes are held on the main MAC campus usually in the Arts and Sciences building, Technology Center, Fine Arts department and North College Center. Dates for this year’s program are July 8-12, July 15-19 and July 22-26. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kids in grades 2-8 enroll for half-day or full-day sessions. The application and complete course descriptions can be found at online at https://mineralarea.edu/media/1921/2019_college-for-kids_schedule.pdf.
Students can be enrolled up until the last day but they may not receive a T-shirt. A $10 registration fee is required. Class costs vary and start at $35.
Call MAC’s Continuing Education at 573-218-2342 or email CFK@MineralArea.edu for more information.
Theater camp—July 15-19—is another entity of CFK for ages 7-14. Students will work on the production of a play, learn different acting techniques and songs, and participate in a final performance for family and friends. The registration form (available online at https://mineralarea.edu/community/theatre/) and $40 fee are due no later than July 5. This camp is limited to the first 50 students. For more information contact MAC’s theater department at 573-518-2181.
Several sponsors made this year’s CFK and some student scholarships possible: Cap America, Ellis Battery Specialists, Farmington Elks Lodge, First State Community Bank, Farmington Kiwanis Club, MAC Veteran’s Club, New Era Bank, Ozarks Federal Savings and Loan, Precision Eye Care, Sam Scism Motors, Unico Bank, and Dr. Rodney Rhodes, DDS.