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Child Development Program will offer VanCoug kids a summer camp

The Child Development Program of WSU Vancouver will offer summer camp programs for pre-school and kindergarten students this year. While educational child care and development programs are offered during WSU Vancouver’s spring and fall semesters, modified summer camp programs are to coincide with the University’s summer session.

The Child Development Program offers full day private schooling for pre-school and kindergarten kids. It is located on campus, and is available not just for children of WSU Vancouver students and alumni, but also for children in the wider community, according to Cheryl Johnson, program coordinator for the Child Development Program. The goal of the program is to demonstrate “best practices” in an early childhood environment.

Johnson stated that the program strives to teach and engage kids with hands on learning and instruction. The program seeks to engage students with projects that will appeal to the interests of young children. These projects are then tied into a curriculum designed to give students the skills needed to excel in classroom settings. In its curriculum, the Child Development Program projects are grouped into four core areas: namely natural science, language/literacy, creative arts, and social competence.

In addition to a classroom program that is engaging and effective, Johnson said that the classes in the Child Development Program emphasize healthy and interactive childhood play. This focus on education and development will be carried into the summer program. Two summer sessions are on schedule to coincide with the staggered summer classes held by WSU Vancouver. Kathy Austin, the early childhood program specialist, said that sessions run from May 11 to June 19 and from June 22 to July 31. Both sessions coincide with the two summer sessions offered for college classes. Preschool camps run during both sessions of WSU Vancouver summer classes, but kindergarten camps are only available during the second session, said Johnson.

Parents sign their children up for multiple weeks within the summer class schedule. Each week in the summer sessions will be based around a single theme, said Johnson. Additionally, options for two, three, four or five day a week attendance are available. Summer camps are designed to offer children increased hands on and outdoor learning opportunities. With the increase in fair weather during the summer months, children in the program are able to get outside and explore the university campus. Johnson said that this outside exploration lets children ask questions and find answers about the world in a safe and engaging manner.

Austin emphasized that while children of all families are welcome, enrollment for the summer program is awarded on a first come basis. There are only a limited number of slots available for summer sessions. Further information can be found on the Child Development Program web page at http://hd.vancouver.wsu.edu/child-development. Questions regarding scheduling and enrollment can be directed to Kathy Austin at kathryn_austin@vancouver.wsu.edu.

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