UPDATE:  Showcase, carnival wrap up After School University July 13 (bit.ly/FSN-ASUshowcase)

After School University, a hands-on educational summer camp at Fresno State, kicked off Monday (June 13) with about 1,300 area elementary students immersed in college culture the next four weeks. The program runs daily from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at various locations on campus.

The ASU partnership between the Kremen School of Education and Human Development and the California Teaching Fellows Foundation, is now in its seventh year. The event has grown from 300 students in 2009.

The camp, which is supported by supplemental after-school funding through the Fresno County Office of Education’s Safe and Healthy Kids department and the Fresno Unified School District’s meal program, provides children from local elementary schools the opportunity to grow academically while on summer vacation with activities they might not otherwise try, said Anne Murphy, program liaison for After School University and project director for the Kremen School.

In addition to Fresno Unified, students are transported to the program from Washington Colony, Washington, Clovis, Orange Center and West Park school districts.

“After School University serves some of the poorest and most diverse elementary students in the Valley who achieve research-based academic gains through the camp,” Murphy said.  “Building college awareness at an early age is important.”

Children engage in academic sessions and select two of 30 courses including photography, video production, dance, cheer, robots, sewing or even an interactive Nintendo Wii course.

The program includes a Mobile Dairy Classroom from 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Friday (June 17) as part of a Dairy Month (June) promotion of free summer meals for Fresno children and teens (details to come).

Housed at Fresno State, the Teaching Fellows Scholarship Program  is an honors program that provides a four year, enriched cohort experience for future teachers as they complete degrees and credentials. The California Teaching Fellows Foundation is the largest employer of University students.

After School University provides placement for incoming teaching credential students and offers paid early-field experience to future teachers.

The program structure is modeled after a university academic system with the interns serving as the administration and faculty, said Victor Leon with the California Teaching Fellows Foundation who is the “chancellor” of ASU. The teacher interns act as deans, department chairs and professors for the elementary students.

For more information, contact Murphy at 559.287.0256 or annem@csufresno.edu.