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Summer art college on the way

Your kids aren't too young to go to college. The first annual Kids' Summer College of the Arts gets going next Tuesday so, as space is limited, it is time to start thinking about registration.

Your kids aren't too young to go to college.

The first annual Kids' Summer College of the Arts gets going next Tuesday so, as space is limited, it is time to start thinking about registration.

The 'college' covers visual arts, dance, drama, music, yoga and culinary arts.

Co-ordinator Tanya Shymko said it was parents who drove the need for the program.

"We found that there is a demand for an arts related camp over the summer. Every spring we are bombarded with questions from parents about it. There are sports camps which are great, but there are a lot of kids who are more into art, dance and music and this just seems a logical thing to do."

The arts college is a pilot program of the North Peace Cultural Centre, modelled after previous summer artspace programs incorporating feedback from parents, students and instructors.

More space has been added to the program this year.

"We used to take 30 kids a week, but we are taking 40 this year because we had to turn people away in previous summers," Shymko explained.

Shymko said the goal is to have kids 'graduate' from the program with a better understanding of many different artistic disciplines.

"They will have knowledge of all of the fine arts," she said.

"They learn how to read and play music, different types of dancing, a lot of kids don't get drama in school any more so they get drama, painting and art, cooking."

Multi-faceted programs like this help kids figure out what they like for future programs, in school and sometimes even in career possibilities, Shymko added.

"There has been so much cut from schools right now, the arts are so important for the kids."

She said research shows that art can help develop skills that will assist kids in other areas: visual arts promotes memory skills, music can improve a child's ability to read, write and understand math and dance and cooking skills have scientific properties.

The cultural centre's central location is convenient for parents and provides opportunities for picnics in the park, she added.

"The kids always have a lot of fun," Shymko said.

"And we have as much fun as they do."

The 'college' runs for five weeks starting Aug. 3 at the North Peace Cultural Centre weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is aimed at children ages five to 12 and parents can register by the half-day, full day or weekly.

For more information about the program, including pricing, availability and instructor profiles, visit www.npcc.bc.ca or call 250-785-1992.

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