For the first time in its 40-year history, Parkland College will not be providing its College for Kids (CFK) summer youth program due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The college's Summer Discovery camps for teens also have been canceled for summer 2020.
Parkland's hands-on summer camps play a vital economic development role in District 505 communities, according to Community Education Director Triss Henderson. Youth get to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math in a wide variety of classes specifically designed for hands-on learning and fun on a college campus. Teens experience careers such as welding, automotive, drones, land surveying and mapping, construction, forensics, robotics, coding, music and culinary. These camps help youth determine their strengths and career interests in an interactive and safe environment.
"It is disappointing to cancel all of these amazing summer opportunities, but the safety of our youth and staff is our number one priority," she said.
Terry Thies, Community Education's youth program manager and summer camp coordinator, called these sessions the highlight of summer for many families. "We offer a unique program for families that not only engages students in innovative learning but develops a student's curiosity,” she said. "At the core of this is the emphasis our staff places on building relationships with students and fostering a love for learning."
Community Education will continue to offer year-round youth workshops in flexible formats and plans to restore CFK and Summer Discovery to full operation next summer. Youth in need of help attending camps also can receive help next summer through the department's scholarship fund.
"We will be investing our time and resources to create new and exciting learning opportunities for our youth, so be on the lookout this summer and throughout the year!" Henderson said.
For more information on College for Kids and other Community Education youth camps, visit parkland.edu/ceRegister.