Children can learn, play in MJC camps

Whether children want to learn more about cooking or need extra math help during summer break, Modesto Junior College is the destination.

For the first time, MJC's community education department is offering Camps for Kids, a range of morning and afternoon activities for children ages 5 to 11. Workshops include hobbies -- such as sewing, photography, cheer and dance, pottery, cooking -- and academics -- computer labs and math exercises, according to the summer schedule.

Camps for Kids is one way MJC's community education is reaching out to younger people, said Pat Rawe, program specialist with community education, a division of MJC that provides lifelong learning programs and classes for all ages.

"We're excited about the wide range of camps and the skills of the teachers," she said.

Organizers are keeping camp sizes small, about one leader for every 16 children, with help from aides or counselors. Most leaders are teachers.

Camps last a week and include an option for child care each day before and after workshops. Camps for Kids runs June 15 through Aug. 3, and cost is about $200 with extra fees for materials or child care.

Registration is open and runs until camps are booked. Some of the popular camps filling up are slime-ology, cheer and dance, photography, and math, Rawe said.

She acknowledged the role the recession will play in Camps for Kids's success or failure. Organizers hope the summer activities offer a cheaper and increased-learning alternative to day care, and provide jobs while the county's unemployment rate climbs.

"We want to make Camps for Kids successful in spite of the economy," Rawe said.

Community education also offers classes for teenagers. Workshops range from robotics to car care to social skills for high school to movie making.

MJC also has technology courses such as computer repair and Dreamweaver-Flash for Web pages. Depending on the teen class, cost is $45 to $130.

For more information on Camps for Kids and the teen courses or to register, visit or call 575-6063.

Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at or 578-2339.