Horizons at KCC summer learning program begins

Kellogg Community College will host 30 elementary school kids for the second consecutive summer session of the Horizons at KCC summer learning program, which begins Monday.

The program, which runs through July 26, serves low-income public school students by providing them with interactive classes in literacy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) each morning and swimming instruction or field trips each afternoon.

“The mission of HKCC is to combine high-quality academics with enrichment and self-esteem-building activities to stop summer learning loss,” said Wanda Miller, the program’s director. “Students are engaged in project-based learning in a small classroom environment; they participate in swimming lessons three times per week, which helps build self-esteem; and the students have fun as they learn math and reading concepts to help them be more successful during the school year.”

The program, modeled after the Horizons National approach to summer learning, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each weekday, with mornings spent at Fremont Elementary School and afternoons spent swimming at the Battle Creek YMCA or on field trips in the community. Breakfast and lunch are provided for each participant, as is transportation to and from the school.

The Horizons program is designed to see the same cohorts of 15 students return year after year for studies each summer; roughly half of this year’s participants are from the first cohort in 2012 who will be entering the second grade this fall, while the other half are new students entering first grade. All participants are students from Ann J. Kellogg Elementary School in Battle Creek.

A low teacher-to-student ratio – each group of 15 students will be instructed by a lead teacher, an assistant teacher and up to three teacher aides, in addition to a shared reading specialist – ensures the kids get personal attention in the classroom.

“Studies indicate that when students participate in smaller learning environments they are more likely to have a better understanding of reading and math,” Miller said, noting that the environment also allows teachers the opportunity to individualize learning and build better relationships with students.

KCC, in partnership with the Battle Creek YMCA and Battle Creek Public Schools, was the first school in the state to offer the Horizons National program last summer and was one of the first schools in the country to offer the program without a private school anchor.

The Horizons at KCC program is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, contact Director Wanda Miller at millerw@kellogg.edu or visit www.horizonsnational.org.

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