• 46°

OUS#039; annual youth classes set to begin

Some of the Tri-State's best and brightest students will be heading to college a little early.

Ohio University Southern's Academy of Excellence and the Primary Scholars program gives young students a chance to learn while taking courses that are designed to be fun and educational.

The academy is for children in grades 4-8. Primary scholars is for children in grades 1-3.

Approximately 200 students from the top 10 percent of their classes will take courses at the university from 9 a.m until 12:30 p.m. every day for the next two weeks.

"Both programs give the children a chance to take classes in a college setting, meet other children from different schools and do the fun parts of school," said Terri Carter, program coordinator.

Primary Scholar courses include Spanish, literature, arts & crafts, math, geography and science.

Academy courses include cooking, physical science, paper machet, sign language, cartooning, mock United Nations, Latin, computers and creative writing.

Because there are only 12 students per class, teachers have a lot of one-on-one time with the children. It also allows the programs to work as a continuation of things they learn in their individual schools, Carter said.

St. Joseph art teacher Kim Johnson has taught cartooning at the summer program for the past four years.

It is relaxing for her and she looks forward to it just as much as the students.

"The kids are really excited about going to the next class. They are excited about being on the campus," she said. "They feel like they are really going to college."

The classes are part of what make this summer program so special because they are fun and

allow the children to have a good time, Johnson said.

"For some kids, these are hobbies or classes that they do not get in their regular curriculum," she said. "Several classes they would not be able to get at all."

OUS has offered the Academy for nearly 25 years. The Primary Scholars program began five years ago, Carter said.

"These programs help motivate the kids to get them ready for school to start," Carter said. "A lot of them look forward to this from year to year."

Dr. Dan Evans, dean of OUS, said the university wants to become an active part in the lives of local young people as early as possible.

"The philosophy of Ohio University Southern, as a university within the community, is we believe education from the cradle to the grave is what we value," he said. "We see it as our mission to provide a wide range of activities for young people, college students and for senior citizens."