Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

400 Gifted Pupils Attend Two Weeks of `College'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

400 Gifted Pupils Attend Two Weeks of `College'

Article excerpt

More than 400 gifted students in kindergarten through the eighth grade spent two weeks at "college" this summer in a program called "Kids on Campus" at Belleville Area College.

Some participated in drama productions, programmed computers, studied French or launched rockets.

Others investigated the environment, put on puppet shows, operated robots or performed lab experiments.

The yearly program is sponsored by the Association for Bright Learners, based in Belleville. Tuition averages $80 a child, plus lab or equipment fees for some courses.

"It's for high-ability students," said Jackie Moore, who with Kathy Gudowicz coordinated this year's courses. "It's mostly geared toward math and science."

There are also courses in art, drama, literature and computers.

"We have 27 classes going this year," Moore said. "It's highly successful - growing every year."

Moore said the teachers and parents who belong to the Association for Bright Learners sponsor activities throughout the year, but "Kids on Campus" is a highlight.

"This is `down time' for the college," Moore noted. "So it's the perfect time for us."

Joseph J. Cipfl, president of Belleville Area College and a former grade school principal and teacher, is among the program's fans.

"This is what a community college is all about," he said.

After a final day of class and learning activities last week, the students were treated to a picnic plus entertainment that included a magic show, a singer and a juggler.

Like their students, teachers for "Kids on Campus" come from schools throughout the Metro East area. They are picked for their subject knowledge and experience in handling gifted students.

Kathy McFall, for example, teaches remedial reading at Mascoutah during the regular school year plus an after-school gifted class.

At BAC, her class for first and second graders was "Inch Worms and Animal Crackers."

"This is a math class," McFall explained as her pupils spent their final day sorting, categorizing and counting animal crackers - including fractions. …

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