Summer Learning Academy Grows in 2022
East Central College’s Summer Learning Academy (SLA) saw a significant increase in students this year compared to 2021.
There were 566 students in classes during this year’s offering — 418 in Union and 148 in Rolla. That’s compared to 320 students last year, including 198 students at the Union campus and 112 in Rolla classes.
Through the SLA, children and teens ages 5 to 18 were in classrooms on the Union campus and Rolla sites exploring fun and creative activities. SLA ran from July 5 through Aug. 12.
The goal of academy was to provide a wide array of enriching and exciting classes for the entire college service region, according to Pam Kaiser, program coordinator for the Center for Workforce Development.
“Every class is designed to be fun and exciting for whatever age group it is geared toward — these classes can be enriching and empowering,” she said. “It is an opportunity for students to develop talents and encourage exploration, and personal growth.”
SLA was Facilitated by ECC’s Community Education program. Kaiser organized, advertised and oversaw the entire Academy. She was assisted this year by Jennifer Eagan.
SLA was free for participants this year thanks to the generosity of sponsors, including Edward Jones offices in Washington, Union and Rolla; local Jimmy John’s restaurants and the ECC Foundation.
“Sponsors made a world of different this year, and they are a reason that we had so many participants,” Kaiser added.
There was a wide selection of varying classes, including some unique classes. Students participated in classes like, Nursing (how to care for babies), Science by Brewer, Hogwarts Wizardry, Junior Welding, Youth Theatre, Fishing, Robotics, Computers, Cheerleading and a Cardboard Sculpture class.
Kaiser noted that the cardboard sculptures showed just how creative and talented SLA students can be. The class was taught by Miguel De Aguero, who recently retired from ECC. He worked with the students to use their imagination and create animals, masks, vehicles and many other things from only cardboard, tape and a few other supplies.
Kaiser added that a large amount of cardboard was donated to SLA by Short Run Boxes, a Union area store that specializes in custom and stock cardboard boxes and moving supplies.
SLA featured new classes this year, including multiple Escape Rooms, two culinary arts classes, Pizza from Scratch, and baking class Decorating Fun Foods; Laugh Your Way to Improv and Forensic Camp, all in Union.
In Rolla, new classes included: All Things You Cannot See, a class where students worked with microscopes; Exploring Egyptology, Winter Sowing and WEDO Robotics.