posted May 27, 2003

Hope Hosts Arts Camp for Kids in August

Hope College will present two week- long, afternoon arts camps for children in the first half of August.

The camps will blend hands-on activities in all four of the arts--the visual arts, dance, music and theatre- -with science themes. The first, "Creature Feature," is for children entering second and third grade, and will run Monday-Friday, Aug. 4-8. The second, "Earth Rocks!," is for children entering fourth and fifth grades, and will run Monday-Friday, Aug. 11-15.

"Creature Feature" will study the world of real and unreal creatures, while "Earth Rocks!" will explore rocks and minerals as well as social studies and mathematics. The students will engage in creative work and performances in both week-long camps.

"The students are going to be using all of the arts to study earth, rocks and creatures," said Dr. Leslie Wessman, who is coordinating the camps and is the Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Professor of education and chair of the department at Hope. "This is a unique program in Michigan."

The program is a cooperative effort involving Hope, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and teachers from West Ottawa.

Wessman believes that the camps fit well at Hope, given the department of education's emphasis on integrating the arts into the curriculum. "We have the only course and the only major in the state that includes all four of the fine arts," she said. Other major programs, she noted, omit dance.

Instruction will be provided by area in-service teachers and Hope education students. They will be led by four arts instructors: Maxine DeBruyn, who is the Dorothy Wiley DeLong Professor of Dance and chairperson of the department at Hope; Patrick Foley, theatre teacher at West Ottawa High School; Claudia Hayes-Hagar, art teacher at Waukazoo Elementary School; and Bobbi Kearns, music teacher at Waukazoo Elementary School.

The lead team has taught a class at Hope called "Arts for the Elementary Teacher" for the past six years. They are now bringing the integrated arts experience to the Holland community.

Teachers are invited to participate in the program as a way of enhancing their own classroom instruction and by Hope education students. As a "lab school" for the educators and college students, the program will provide an opportunity to develop lesson plans and work with children in blending creative expression into the core curriculum.

The camps will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the children. Registration for participating children is $80 per week.

The teachers will begin their day at 8:30 a.m. There will be a fee for college credit for the participating educators.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, July 15.

Additional information may be obtained by calling Wessman through the college's department of education at (616) 395-7740.