Press-Republican

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July 27, 2013

Learning the fun way

PLATTSBURGH — Summer Safari is two weeks away from, once again, completing fun and enriching programming for children, tweens and teens at SUNY Plattsburgh.

In its 26th year, the program debuted with a science and an art class.

“This year, we had 36 classes,” said Kate Chilton, conference director for College Auxiliary Services.

“They don’t all go. If we get the bare minimum, we will run it. Some classes are small. Two classes only have four kids. They get a lot of hands-on, regardless. Typically, we keep the classes to 12. The theater production is different. We need that critical mass to make it work.”

This summer, 265 children explored a range of classes about distant lands, digital photography, and hip-hop dance and choreography.

“New this year was ‘Across the Galaxy’ for ages 6 to 7,” Chilton said. “It was about astronomy. They learn how long it takes the earth to orbit the sun, and the moon to orbit the earth, and look to the skies and beyond as they explore planets, asteroids, constellations and all that.”

“Money & Me Biz Kid$” was a new class in the math and finance category for ages 13 to 18 taught by Karen Rock, a teacher at Peru Central School, and Jody Carpenter of UFirst Credit Union.

“That was offered in conjunction with UFirst Credit Union to help students understand the essentials of financial literacy. They learn personal banking, how to manage credit wisely and fill out income-tax forms and evaluate insurance needs,” Chilton said.

The historically themed “An American Girl Adventure” class filled so quickly a second class was also taught by instructor Marie Denis, a school counselor at Morrisonville Elementary School.

Participants learned about the lives of “Felicity” and her friend “Elizabeth,” who grew up in Colonial America. “Kit” and “Ruthie” learned lessons about making do without during the Great Depression. “Molly” and “Emily” were witnesses to everyone doing their part during World War II. 

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