Mercer University Youth Programs kicking off in coming weeks

From Staff Reports

Mercer University is once again launching a pair of programs designed to help kids hone their skills.

The Mercer Youth Programs include College for Kids, for students entering first through fifth grades. Mercer Youth University is geared toward those entering sixth through eighth grades. Both summer enrichment programs are held in Henry County, Douglas County and Macon.

A student at Mercer University’s College for Kids displays his work on an assignment. Special photo

The summer program is set for the weeks of June 5-9, June 12-16 and June 19-23 from 9 a.m., to noon and/or 1-4 p.m. The fee for each course is $185.

The Atlanta Campus programs meet for four weeks and include June 26-30, said Tammy Hotchkiss, assistant coordinator of the university’s College for Kids Program in Henry County.

“Individual classes are one week in length providing 15 hours of instruction -- three hours daily, morning (9 a.m., to noon) or afternoon (1-4 p.m.) from Monday through Friday,” she said.

Mercer’s programs for young people, currently in their 27th year, are among the longest-running of their kind in middle Georgia. Hotchkiss noted that they focus on the areas of math, science and writing.

“Our programs are designed to strengthen and stretch their academic skills in these key subject areas,” she said. “Depending on the course they choose to register, the activities may vary. Budding authors creative writing program publish their stories and poems in a hardbound book, which we present to the student and his or her school in September at our awards ceremony. Our mathematicians and scientists, receive a trophy.”

Classes in the program are designed to tap into the students’ imaginations as well. The programs feature creative activities and hands-on experiences, in alignment with the Georgia Board of Education curriculum, STEM and other activities.

“For example, our 6th grade science class will analyze and interpret data to create graphic representations of the cause and effects of waves, currents, and tides in the earth's systems,” explained Hotchkiss. “Our third-graders will be developing their own super hero character using the theme ‘You're My Hero.’”

Instructors in the program are trained, qualified and certified to teach in STEM programs. Students in the program have the opportunity for exercises and short lessons in the creative arts, as well as hearing from guest speakers along the way.

Hotchkiss said students have given her positive feedback about the program and are “excited” about being selected to participate in it.

“Our enrichment programs are not intended as remedial instruction, but rather consist of highly interactive courses for elementary and middle grades students interested in learning new information at a higher grade level,” she said. “Since my change of position as the coordinator over the program, I have observed several students excited about returning and registering this year. I know that more than one prior College for Kids and Youth University student has since enrolled in college, one of which enrolled here at Mercer as a freshman this year.”

The Mercer Youth Programs will recognize students’ achievements in October, with writers receiving a hardbound copy of student authors’ work. Math and science students will also receive awards at the event. Mercer provides all instruction materials.

For more information, please contact our office at 678-547-6326 or