For selected students 6-12 years old, it's an opportunity to spend part of their summer vacation in a quality fine arts enrichment program taught by artists and college instructors.
For B.J. Sherrill, who put the program together, it's the culmination of a vision she has had for several years.
"I had seen it done at the University of Houston where I got my graduate degree," said Sherrill, who has been teaching at Eastern Arizona College-Payson since 1988. "Then when I went to (the main EAC campus in Thatcher) for some training, I saw that they had one."
The completion of the new EAC-Payson campus at Highway 260 and Mud Springs Road two years ago provided the facility to make the Kids College Fine Arts Program a reality, but it would take the arrival of Assistant Dean Barbara Ganz this year to provide the administrative support the program needed.
"Barbara wanted to do it because she had worked with (a similar program) at the community college she came from," Sherrill said.
Through their collaborative efforts, Kids College will become a reality this summer. From June 3-14, selected students will be able to experience various media in both art and music.
"It's scheduled for the first two weeks in June on the EAC-Payson campus, with nine courses taught by area artists," Sherrill said. Tuition is $25 for each class.
"The long-term effects of early formation in the arts can have valuable implications for the future of a child," she said. "Leading a student in the direction of a path that complements his or her talents can define future choices in life.
While Sherrill refers to the program as a "mini-exploration" of the arts, she emphasizes the academic nature of the courses.
"This is not just a babysitting or crafts thing," she said. "In each class, students are going to learn about an artist and learn terminology."
Sherrill has long been interested in working with children. She regularly visits the district's elementary schools to teach art to first, second and third graders on a volunteer basis.
Courses offered as part of the program include:
"Cutting Up With Matisse"
"Paper Makes Paper"
"Make An Impression"
Doodling With Degas
June 3, 5, 7
June 10, 12, 14
"Paint Me a Picture"
"Sing, Sing, Sing"
Ages: current 4th, 5th, 6th graders
The music class will be taught by Louise Anslow, including voice training.
"She worked with the Payson Chorale and really knows her stuff," Sherrill said.
Kids College will conclude with an art show and musical performance at 3 p.m. June 14.
The enrollment deadline is Friday, May 24. To register your children or for more information call EAC-Payson at 474-2224 or visit the campus.
A limited number of scholarships is available.
Children's Musical Theater
Rim country and visiting children in grades 2-8 can spend three weeks in June participating in a musical theater workshop that will culminate in a full-blown production of "The Hobbit: A Musical."
The Payson Unified School District-sponsored workshop, which is open to public, private and home-schooled students, features hands-on instruction in auditioning, acting, singing, dancing, costumes and make-up. Instructors include PUSD teachers, PHS drama students and professional actors from the Phoenix Children's Theater.
The workshop, which runs from 12:30-4 p.m. daily at the PHS auditorium, begins June 10 and culminates with two public performances on June 27 and 28. Auditions will be held June 7.
Total cost of the workshop is $60, with a $30 non-refundable down payment due at time of registration. Registration forms are available at Payson, Frontier and Julia Randall Elementary schools, Rim Country Middle School, Payson Community Christian School and Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School.
Some partial scholarships are also available. For more information call Kathy Greenberg, program coordinator, at 476-5813.