ROCKVILLE, Md. — Many parents are trying to find ways to keep their kids engaged through the summer months. Montgomery College is getting creative to keep kids learning.
For the first time, all summer youth programs at Montgomery College will take place online this year.
Senior Program Director of Youth Programs, Mary Mukherjee, said the spread of the coronavirus forced organizers to pivot last minute and move more than 200 camps online.
"It was March 13, the last day my team was in the office, and within three weeks we said this is not going to happen and let's go online," said Mukherjee.
Mukherjee said this year there is also a greater emphasis on educational courses. While they still have the classic summer camps like art and nature camp, they also wanted to keep the learning going throughout the summer months.
"I have a high school student myself and I said 'oh boy, what is he missing? Let’s fill in these holes.' We decided to take a math essentials group," said Mukherjee.
Many of the summer youth program instructors also teach at MCPS or Montgomery College.
"They had some experience, whether they were thrown into it or not, and they were very honest that there were some camps we could not run and we had to reformat," said Mukherjee.
Other courses scheduled for this year include a class on women's suffrage and a class on civil rights. Another course teaches students how to have conversations amid a diversity of opinions and to listen in a constructive way.
"Last September we did not know that would be such a big issue now, but again, this is what the students want to learn about. They are interested, they want to know and it’s our job as a community college to serve our community," said Mukherjee.
Mukherjee said one silver lining about hosting the youth programs online is that they have been able to welcome kids who live states away and otherwise would not have been able to attend the youth programs.
"We have students from Georgia, we have students from California, we have students from New York, Pennsylvania and it’s a way to connect even though we are geographically distanced," said Mukherjee.
Youth programs will continue into the fall semester. If you would like to learn more, click here.