Stay sharp: Six ways to keep the wheels turning this summer

Live Arts. Photo: Martyn Kyle Live Arts. Photo: Martyn Kyle

We love swim team and beach trips and even the occasional lazy day at home just as much as the next person, but it can be all too easy to let your kids’ brains go into hibernation mode during the summer months. Luckily for kids (and parents) in the area, schools and organizations in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties are gearing up for summer programs that will strike the perfect balance between entertaining and educational. Some of these may be so much fun that your kids won’t even notice they’re learning things—don’t worry, we won’t tell them.

KidsCollege@PVCC

Every summer, Piedmont Virginia Community College offers a full schedule of week-long camps and academies for kids in third to ninth grade. Whether your son or daughter is into fashion design, app development or physics, there’s bound to be at least one PVCC camp that keeps their heads from filling with cobwebs. Here’s just a snapshot of what’s available:

For third to sixth graders: Minecraft designers; LEGO and stop action films; jewelry making

For sixth to ninth graders: French adventures, architecture, dance, music, geometry and algebra

For more information, visit pvcc.edu/kidscollege.

ACAC camps/academies

ACAC offers quintessential day camps featuring sports, crafts and swimming, but for something a little different, there’re also week-long day programs like Judy’s Baking Academy, Circus Academy and Bricks for Kids Academy.

For more information, visit ssl.acac.com/acaccamp/academies.aspx.

WriterHouse youth programs

Don’t let your kids lose their writing chops over the summer. At WriterHouse, children as young as rising third graders all the way up to 2015 high school grads can enroll in afternoon writing programs. Fees cover the cost of snacks, a writer’s notebook and a copy of the camp magazine, which will feature a piece of work done by each writer. Families and friends are invited to a reading at the end of each session so everyone can show off the fiction, non-fiction, movie scripts and poetry they worked so hard on.

For more information, visit writerhouse.org.

Light House Studio workshops

Aaand…action! Light House Studio offers summer workshops for kids ages 8-18, including young directors, intro to animation, exploring filmmaking and even courses on creating documentaries and music videos.

For more information, visit lighthousestudio.org/summer-camp.

Live Arts camps

Calling all actors (and directors, comedians, writers and singers)! Live Arts is taking registrations for its summer programs for kids and teenagers. There are sessions for musical theater, one-act plays, “mini camps for wee ones” for kids as young as 4 and a comedy camp that’s new this year.

For more information, visit livearts.org/youth.

Music Resource Center workshops

Registration is open for the Music Resource Center’s summer workshops teaching everything from guitar and drums to songwriting and dance. And this year, the center is offering a five-day master class for ninth-12th graders, which will feature different local artists like John D’earth, Eli Cook and Brad Savage.

For more information, visit musicresourcecenter.org/workshops.

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