Children of all ages have opportunity to live out their dreams

Photo by Joshua Wagner

The magic of Kids’ College, it makes dreams come to life

By Christian McClure

They line up in their positions, ready for whatever their teacher will show them today. High-pitched giggles are heard through the oak door. Outside, the small hallway is lined with proud moms and enthusiastic dads.

Here, for an hour a day, they are not just little girls. They are ballerinas; they are acrobats. They are the most enthusiastic cheerleaders the world has ever seen.

They are whatever their hearts desire. Each day, this gym on Amarillo College’s West Campus is not just a gym. It is Swan Lake, the Olympics and Cowboys Stadium all rolled into one.

West Campus is home to AC’s Kids’ College gymnastics and dance program. There are many classes for kids ranging from age 2 to 18. Kids’ College offers a variety of classes from gymnastics to theater, music to sports.

Stephanie Jaramillo, a parent of a child enrolled in gymnastics, said, “I like it so far. Kierstin seems to like it, and she’s been in it for three years.

“She has fun and enjoys it. The teachers are good. They’re really nice and answer any questions we have.”

Donna Miller, a personal enrichment program administrative clerk, said AC’s fencing class is a competitive and recognized class.

Spots still are open in the gymnastics, dance and karate classes for this semester.

“It’s very structured,” said Amber Pringle, a parent of gymnastics student Ashlynn Pringle. “They really respond to parents’ questions, give great help tips to what you can do at home and check on students.” Ashlynn has been enrolled in gymnastics since fall 2009.

About 800 to 1,000 students a semester are enrolled in dance and gymnastics, said Charlotte

Modersitzki, supervisor of sports and dance programs/personal enrichment/children’s gymnastics.

Each class has different levels, and there are prerequisites for each one ranging from age to skills.

The prerequisites can be found online or in the continuing education course schedule.

In the spring and fall, USA Gymnastics competition goes on around the state. In the fall is compulsory competition for level 3-6, and in the spring is optional competition for levels 7-10 for gymanastics, Modersitzki said. The program has had a level 6 student become a state champion.

“We are a stepping stone,” Modersitzki said. “We want them to have good memories so that parents can trust us with them at the college level. This program helps give them a healthy physical and mental state, builds social skills and helps them learn trust and confidence.”

The magical hour comes to an end, like it does everyday. It is time to get back to the real world. Mom and dad are ready to go home, so being a ballerina will have to wait until next week.

Even though they no longer are living their fantasies, that doesn’t mean this unassuming room won’t be the karate studio of every little boys’ dreams in an hour.

That is the magic of Kids’ College. It makes dreams come to life.


Originally published: Friday, September 16, 2011

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