Record Number Participate in “Kids on Campus” at OCU

Micah Smith, a student showing great concentration on his picture.

Pickaway HELPS welcomed area elementary school children to Ohio Christian University from June 4 to 15 for the annual “Kids on Campus” summer enrichment program. Over two weeks, 155 second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders experienced academic life on a college campus while improving their math, science, and technology skills. This number beat last year’s record of 134 participants. Students attended sessions at 10 am to noon or 1 to 3 pm.

“Last year we added afternoon sessions. This year we added technology, and had more students participate in ‘Kids on Campus’ than ever before,” said Christy Mills, Executive Director of Pickaway HELPS (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students). OCU President Mark Smith asked his 7-old son what he had learned in math. Micah replied, “Dad. I didn’t learn anything. We just played.”  Smith responded, “Great teachers make learning fun.”

Diltz is a retired teacher from the Westfall Local School District. She was joined by Rolanda Hurtt, a sixth-grade science teacher in Circleville. Both teachers hold master’s degrees from Ashland University. The technology teacher, Nichole Younkin, teaches computers at Westfall Middle School and holds one master’s degree from Mount Vernon University and one from the University of Phoenix.

Second- and third-grade children worked on number sense through math games, used measuring skills for a Wacky Olympics, created and explored two- and three- dimensional figures, used patterns to design artwork and experimented with probability. Kids in the older grades (fourth and fifth) explored area and perimeter, created polyhedrons from straws and experimented with probability and data collection.

“This is a meaningful experience to the kids,” added Diltz, “because they get to be on a college campus but also because they are using and expanding skills they learn during the school year that will help them when the new school year begins.”

The cost for “Kids on Campus” was $35 per student, which included supplies and a colorful T-shirt. The program was coordinated by Pickaway HELPS with support from OCU and PPG Industries.

Pickaway HELPS, under the original leadership of County Commissioner Ula Jean Metzler, had a vision for “Kids on Campus,” and Ohio Christian University responded to the vision by serving the community students.