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Program offers Super Saturday classes to community grade school children

Nov. 19, 1999

By CHRISTIE SMITH

Reporter

Baylor's Center for Community Learning and Enrichment hopes to spark student interest in learning by offering various Super Saturday classes for Central Texas elementary and middle school students.

The Super Saturday classes begin Saturday and will continue on selected weekends from December through April primarily on the Baylor campus.

According to Mary Witte, director of the center, the idea has been implemented in the past but is 'a growing program.' Approximately 15 to 30 students participate in each session, allowing a more one-on-one atmosphere for the students.

Witte said the program aims to help students gain an interest in their subjects at school.

'The center focuses on providing enrichment opportunities in this region for students in the first through 12th grade,' Witte said. 'Each weekend provides a very hands-on enrichment experience to get students excited about learning.'

The first Super Saturday class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Draper Academic Building computer lab.

According to Sara Mynarcik, a freelance technology consultant who will be leading the session, the first class will focus on 'Fun With Web Pages,' taking fourth and fifth grade students through web sites and allowing them to gather information about what life will be like in the new millennium for cities around America.

'There's so much talk about the millennium, so I thought it would be interesting to look at the fourth of July in the new millennium; to see what Boston and other cities will be doing during that time,' Mynarcik said.

The students will then create web pages displaying the information that they have discovered and will supply hyperlinks to related and beneficial sites.

'We're trying to get them to learn the mechanics of computers by having them create the web pages,' Mynarcik said. 'I feel like this is the perfect age for children to start individualizing their learning. This is the beginning of releasing their creativity to become more independent learners.'

Other organizations such as Project Promise and Gear-Up Waco will also participate in some of the coming sessions, focusing on at-risk students.

'Eventually, through these programs, Baylor students will be serving as mentors to these at-risk students,' Witte said.

The remaining classes will cover activities ranging from math and puppeteering to computers, DNA fingerprinting and television-news gathering.

Witte said she wants this to be a fun time for students to learn and enjoy learning.

'We hope that students gain an awareness of and interest in a multitude of topics through this program,' she said.

Each student must pre-register for the sessions. The cost is $20 per class, and some classes require a $5 lab and materials fee.

For more information or to sign up, call the Center for Community Learning and Enrichment at 710-2171.