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Posted: Wednesday Mar 21, 2012

March 21, 2012

Saint Vincent College summer Challenge program for middle and high school students will be transformed this year into a “wizard college” epic theme that lovers of the Harry Potter series will find incorporated in classes, activities, housing and extracurricular events during the week of July 8 to 13.

“In this exciting educational residence program, students will be able to attend courses connected to math, science, literature and the arts around themes found in the popular literature series of Harry Potter,” commented Ms. Kathleen Beining, Challenge program director and instructor of education. “Students can select courses that offer content-deepening experiences in computer graphics, video effects, physics, environmental phenomena, cooking, journalism and other high-interest topics. In addition to courses, students will be able to participate in Quidditch, monster chess, ballroom dancing and other wizard-themed activities. After several requests from students, we agreed to offer a themed Challenge program that will reach out to young people who enjoy the arts and science of that found in the Harry Potter literature,” she continued.

The program is an all-inclusive week of meals, courses, activities and events for students entering grades six through 12.

“While we know that the Potter series is most popular with middle grade students, we were certain that high school students would also enjoy high school-level course topics and events that link to the mysterious fictional world of wizardry,” Ms. Beining added.

Education students will serve as counselors and work with the students attending the camp. “The program sounds like so much fun,” commented Ms. Meghan Waterbury, education major, junior class vice-president, member of the Student Government Association and Fred Rogers Scholar. “I look forward to being active in it. My brother would be tickled to go to ‘Hogwarts’.”

All counselors participating in the program will be involved in planning the events and activities while teachers will be responsible for instructing the courses. All teachers have advanced degrees or knowledge of the content.

Ms. Julie Bisi, M.S., executive director of The Absolute Value of One and teacher of CP 16 Order of Merlin Honor: Working Together for the Common Good, said, “I am excited to offer this course on the qualities of a hero and how good can come from bad. I am so pleased to be reaching out to young people to convey the message of 'the triumph of good vs. evil.'” The program has attracted statewide recognition as fellow librarians of schools and public libraries have offered the program to patrons and students. Students can contact their librarian to receive a discount in tuition for the program which will help families planning to send their sons and daughters. There are also full and part scholarships available to assist the underprivileged or those in need who would like to attend the program.

Parents of former Challenge students have reported that the program “is a fantastic way to incorporate reading into summer fun."

“Surprisingly, this theme-based approach to Challenge has really broadened our outreach to young people seeking Saint Vincent. I am hopeful that offering this program will help young people have an opportunity to learn and build new relationships and foster positive experiences that they will remember for a lifetime,” commented Dr. Veronica Ent, chair and professor of education at Saint Vincent.

Registrations for the Challenge wizard college at Saint Vincent are now being accepted. Early registration is advised since space is limited. More information is available at www.svcchallenge.weebly.com or email education@email.stvincent.edu.


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