By: Cas Powell
The Wayne County 21st Century Program for the summer of 2018 began on June 4th. Students were invited to participate in the program at either the middle or elementary level. The camp ran over a five-week period, with each level of the program featuring different things. Approximately eighty students benefited from the interesting camp experience that kept their minds stimulated.
For middle school students, the program’s theme changes every week. Week one featured a “Survivor” theme, where students split into teams to compete in challenges. Week two was a big week for the program – with its “Lights, Camera, Action!” theme, students had the chance to sign up for Drama Camp. While students in the basic program worked with stop motion and other cinematic media forms, Drama Camp students were given a chance to try their hand at acting. The students worked on a play with their director Nicholas Kidd. On the Friday of that week, the students performed their play, “The Great Middle School Mystery,” at the Historic Wayne Theater. At the performance, the students who had not participated in the play were able to showcase their pieces as well.
During the summer camp, students were given the chance to visit many interesting and unique places. These places were chosen in relation to what the students were studying at the time. While studying space during the fourth week of the program, middle school students visited the EKU Hummel Planetarium. They also had a campout to study the stars. For their Survivor competitions, the group visited the Mt. View Campsite, for a series of challenges.
The elementary program kept a consistent theme throughout. Every year they focus around a book – this year featuring A Wrinkle in Time. The students read the book and, to tie into its theme, explored a variety of different “worlds.” From the underwater world to cave systems, students explored the universe in a fun and hands-on way. Elementary students are also exposed to a variety of field trips. Students this year were given the privilege to attend Newport Aquarium and the Shaker Village, among other locations.
Aside from the academics the students were exposed to, both levels of the program made time to be physical. Middle school students were allotted an hour a day for physical fitness activities and team building exercises. They were given another hour in the afternoon to swim. Elementary students were also given two hours of physical fitness and YOGA time. It’s important to the program staff that the kids have not only enriched minds but healthy bodies.
2018 was Katherine Kidd’s ninth year working with the program. She serves as director. Kidd’s job includes handling the process of obtaining the grant from the No Child Left Behind Act, managing the grant money, collecting and managing data, and handling the programming, among other tasks. She ensures that children are in a safe and nurturing environment. Kidd seeks to introduce students to culture and humanities that they may otherwise not be exposed to, as well as provide academic enrichment.
The staff of the program consists of a series of high school students, teachers, volunteers, and college students. “We are really just one big happy family, working cohesively as a group,” Kidd said about them. “It’s true collaboration.” The program inspires bonds between the students and the staff, providing role models that can set good examples.
The program runs throughout the school year as well. It typically begins a few weeks into school; this year it starts on September 4th, and will run until a week from the end of school. The program will provide students with a safe place to seek help for homework and offer a variety of classes that students may be unable to obtain without it. The program works with students, parents, and teachers to best ensure that it is benefitting the child.
Middle School teams competed in various challenges
These challenges were part of the first week's "Survivor" theme
Students visited the planetarium to learn about the location of planets and constellations
Elementary students visited the Wayne Historical Museum
A stage coach from Wayne County's earlier days was one attraction the children experienced at the museum
Students attending the camp learned more about history at the Shaker Village
At 21st Century, students are given a fun, interactive, hands-on approach to learning