PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire Community College is renewing its commitment to the county’s youngest learners by launching the Kid Academy.

Youths ages 7 to 17 years old will have the opportunity to take classes designed to foster their interests while getting a taste of what it’s like to be on a college campus.

"I am very excited to launch BCC’s Kid Academy. We’re always looking for new ways to educate the youth of Berkshire County, and these workshops illustrate that learning happens in and out of the classroom in fun and exciting ways," said Linda Morelli, BCC’s director of non-credit instruction.

Morelli said the college used to offer youth programs, but the effort waned over the years. She said the idea to re-introduce programs for kids and teens came about recently through the inquiries of parents and caregivers.

Spring semester offerings include: Crafting, video production, hiking, running club, sewing and cooking. Other skills-based workshops offer hands-on instruction such as babysitter training, speech improvement, and college application writing.

The programs will be taught by a mix of BCC faculty members and community specialists.

Enrollment is now open and spring semester workshops begin Jan. 25. The majority of the classes take place on Saturdays. Costs range from $15 to $60.

BCC spokeswoman Heidi Weber said that Kid Academy ties in with other programs, like summer camps and the third-grade college visit program in partnership with Berkshire Compact, to bring youths on campus.


Advertisement

"We also hope that exposing our youth to BCC will promote thinking about college and will help to create aspirations about future schooling and career paths," Morelli said.

She said the college is always looking for future course ideas and instructors.

Kid Academy will continue year-round. Morelli said three week-long programs already scheduled for the summer include scuba diving, "Dunk Out the Violence," and will revive a previously offered butterfly academy.

For detailed information about Kid Academy classes, visit berkshirecc.edu/spring to view BCC’s Spring 2014 semester schedule and see the listing on page 32.

To register for a course, call the Office of Community Education at (413) 236-2127 or email lmorelli@berkshirecc.edu.