Miami Dade College is offering a virtual alternative to its traditional in-person summer camp this year, Summer On-Screen Camp.
The online programming, a necessity this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, launched on June 15.
It offers a variety of classes—cooking, yoga, film production, arts and craft—for students between the ages of 7 to 17.
“Cancelling the camp for the kids in our community is not an option,” said Sandra Garcia, program manager for the School of Continuing Education & Professional Development at Kendall Campus. “The summer camps are a need for the community.”
The virtual excursions will be offered through Aug. 14. Classes last an hour and cost $35 each.
“We had to create a new platform,” Garcia said. “We had to change the whole structure from the length of classes, to the pricing of classes. Everything is completely new.”
Approximately 47 classes have been made available to students since the program began in June. Most are divided into two ages groups, seven to 12 year olds and 13 to 17 year olds. A few classes—dance, culinary and yoga—are open to both age groups.
The young children can take interactive and hands-on classes, such as Digital Photography: Explore, Learn and Create, Origami Techniques and Paper Folding and Painting with Watercolors and Tempera.
In the Urban Dance Moves class, kids learn to dance to popular hip-hop and reggaeton music. They perform a choreographed routine as part of their final assignment.
Teenagers have access to similar creative arts and dance classes, but offer more options for students that want to develop practical, real-world skills.
Some classes include: And…Action! Adventures in Video and Movie Production for Teens, a course that teaches basic digital filmmaking techniques; Blogging and Podcasting for Beginners, a class that teaches students how to create and market their own blog or podcast and Young Entrepreneurs through Social Media, a workshop that educates teenagers on how to market themselves or a business through social media.
Classes are offered in one hour intervals with breaks in between from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“You can register for as many classes as you want in a week,” Garcia said. “I have a lot of students that are taking healthy eating in the morning and then in the afternoon they are taking dance classes.”
Discussions to hold the summer camp online began after the College switched to remote learning in March.
Students can register for classes on the Summer On-Screen Camp’s website. Deadline to register for a class is a week before the start date.
A virtual classroom link, syllabus and required materials for the class are sent to the student’s email after they register.
“This camp gives the opportunity for kids to be engaged and to participate with other kids at the same time,” Garcia said. “So far it’s been a marvelous experience.”