More than 30 Manchester Elementary School students from grades four through sixth spent most of the week participating in Kids on Campus at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, covering a wide variety of topics.
Topics ranged from physical activities such as basketball, volleyball and swimming, to more classroom-oriented topics such as video editing, crime scene investigations and meteorological study, to more unique areas like beginning lessons of the guitar, fashion design and science of flight classes.
Participants were required to participate and finish in a previous after-school activity before getting to go to SSU, which has been a big hit according to instructor Caroline Grooms.
Grooms said many students wished to come back for an additional day and wished for extended hours for next year’s program.
“Their suggestion is that they offer this two weeks next year and that they want to stay until 5 p.m.,” Grooms said.
Another instructor, Michelle Knauff Moore, said just spending time at a university is good for children thinking about their future.
“Just coming here and walking around the campus, knowing that there’s a college nearby that they can go to, is a big deal,” Moore said.
Students chose a variety of activities they wished to attend. Some kids participated in swimming activities, others participated in basketball instruction by Delano Thomas, a former basketball player at SSU and current assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, while others like Brennen Allen and Jaxson Grooms chose a video editing production course where they created a video on a computer showcasing the entire multi-day event.
“We thought it would be really interesting to make videos,” Grooms said. “I’ve been on computers for a long time, but this is our first time making a video like this.”
The program itself had more than 200 students show up from schools around the area, the largest turnout in the history of the program according to Charlotte Moore, director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.