In HCC program, lifelong learning knows no age limits

June 26, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Anne Myers believes that lifelong learning is just as much for children as it is for older people. That is why she is such a fan of College for Kids at Hagerstown Community College.

The program manager for HCC's Lifelong Learning, Myers said there are classes for children from first grade through the 10th grade each summer at the College for Kids.

Myers works on the summer programs with Jack Drooger, computer training coordinator at the Center for Continuing Education, who handles mostly the higher grades; and Cindi Hull, program manager for certification and licensure.

Hull coordinates the veterinarian assistant classes for adults and Vet Academy for kids.

College for Kids is in its 12th year, said Myers, who is in her 10th year at HCC.

"We have a wonderful group of educators who also teach for the Washington County Public Schools. Many have been involved here for eight or nine years and teach kids all over the HCC campus."


There are waiting lists for some classes, Myers said. Experience has taught them that smaller class sizes, usually a maximum of 14, yield better results.

There are classes in which children collect and examine microscopic organisms, make hand puppets, learn about farm animals, do fun math projects, construct crafts and become amateur sleuths.

Drooger also has been involved for about 10 years with the College for Kids program.

He focuses on team technology, such as computers and robotics, for students in middle school and older. An adventure-based course called "Lego My Robot" is quite popular with students who get to create their own programs at the computer.

"We have 40 students on a waiting list for the course where you design your own computer games," Drooger said. "Washington County Technical High School students help with the teaching."

Visiting instructors like Ruth Ridenour and Bob Wantz teach at the college for a week at a time, Myers said.

"NBC25 meteorologist Chad Merrill is presenting a program on hurricanes for kids and their parents," Myers said.

Parents like the program because it provides worthwhile activities and access to new technology in a safe environment.

Myers said many children start the College for Kids in elementary school and stay with it every year. HCC vans are used to take students on field trips to a dairy farm, Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and The Humane Society of Washington County.

Myers, a native of York, Pa., lives near Chambersburg, Pa. She earned her bachelor's degree in theater and communication from Temple University.

"There is a lot of producing and directing in this program," Myers said. "And I just love the energy of the kids on campus each summer."

For more information on College for Kids or other HCC lifelong learning programs, call 301-790-2800, ext. 453 or ext. 582.

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