College for Kids a time for exploration at William Woods University

A boy prepares to launch his rocket.
A boy prepares to launch his rocket.

For many children, summer is a time for sleeping late and goofing off. However, students in grades three through nine from several states are participating in mock trials, building bridges or rockets and learning the history of chocolate on the campus of William Woods University.

The College for Kids: A Summer Exploration, Inc.’s summer program, is celebrating its 26h year. Three sessions will be offered, with the first being held this week.

“This summer exploration emphasizes academic subjects that encourage

Boys get creative.
Boys get creative.

creative, critical thinking skills, and at the same time, addresses the affective and physical needs of the gifted,” said the director, Sue Craghead of Fulton.

College for Kids provides accelerated learning experiences specifically for academically talented students, combining rigorous academic experiences with fun and exciting social opportunities.      

“CK classes address contemporary issues and problems using a higher level of integrative, analytical and critical thinking,” Craghead said. “Class curriculum encourages awareness of and respect for divergence in thought among academic peers. The CK experience also allows students to explore different academic content and methodologies in various disciplines.”

girl on computerCollege  for  Kids  also  addresses  the  physical  needs  of  all  students  today. Every day CK takes time for physical exercise, in various classes and during recreation time.

“Exercise and physical fitness are necessary to fully realize one’s potential,” Craghead said.

She explained that College for Kids provides an opportunity for gifted students to learn and socialize with their intellectual peers.

“Rather than being singled out and labeled as the ‘smart kid’ in a regular classroom, students are surrounded by peers who share their interests and abilities.  It is the friendships,  just  as   much  as the 22925381 learning,  that  makes  kids  want  to  return  to  College  for Kids year after year.”

During the week, students have opportunities to sample weeklong, intensive, cognitive-oriented studies such as biology, chemistry, classical studies, psychology, rockets and historical mysteries.

“College for Kids courses are designed with gifted students in mind, inviting them to direct their considerable talent and energy toward interdisciplinary projects and practical problem-solving,” Craghead said.

“The students engage in service-learning, present facts in a mock trial setting and learn advanced math and science by having the opportunity to dissect and mix chemicals. We nurture students as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers.”

CK scienceClasses such as American Sign Language, Digital Photography and CKNews give students the opportunity to learn new skills. Introductory exploration courses, such as fine arts, acting, volunteering and fitness help meet the needs of gifted students through self-expression and communication dynamics.

“College for Kids students surprise even themselves by how much they can learn, achieve and grow in just one short week,” Craghead said.

Evenings at the camp are filled with team-building and leadership activities. Children participate in such things as talent shows, film-making nights, inspirational speakers and interactive creative problem-solving, while also having fun.

College for Kids: A Summer Exploration, Inc. was started in 1989 by teachers of the gifted who formed a program for children who wanted to continue learning during the summer.

The three sessions are June 15-20 for approximately 90 students in third and fourth grade, June 22-27 for approximately 140 students in fifth and sixth grade and July 6-12 for approximately 145 students in seventh through ninth grade.

For more information, go to or contact Craghead at (573) 642-2935 or by email at