COCC receives nearly $250K grant to offer free, low-cost summer youth programs

BEND, Pray. (KTVZ) — Just in time for summer, Central Oregon Community College has received a $247,819 award from the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts to support a range of free and low-cost summer programs, symposiums, camps and credit-based coursework for regional K-12 students.

Hundreds of middle school and high school youths across Central Oregon will benefit from the considerable grant.

Four educational focuses are receiving funding, and each has a shared mission of providing opportunities and enrichment for traditionally underserved students, particularly in rural parts of the college’s district, which spans some 10,000 square miles.

“This funding will impact so many young students across our region, providing access to some truly unique learning opportunities,” said Jenn Kovitz, COCC’s director of marketing and public relations. “For instance, we have a brand-new summer symposium, called Ubuntu, for Black high school students that’s modeled after our existing Latinx and Native American symposiums, where students can gain a feel for college life while celebrating their culture.”

The funding is allocated to support these specific areas: Youth Camp programming ($120,425) for middle schoolers, with entirely free programming offered at the Madras and Prineville campuses; weeklong, overnight college preparation symposiums ($30,000) for Latinx, Native American and Black high school students on COCC’s Bend campus; a weeklong research-oriented, science-specific program ($15,227) for high schoolers; and credit-based, career-oriented classes ($82,166) for high school students.

COCC’s Youth Camps, held June 21 to August 25, are a series of summer day camps held at the college’s Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville campuses, with sessions in drone technology, junior police academy, writing and culinary, among other topics.

All camps offered on the Madras and Prineville campuses are free to attend and can accommodate up to 20 campers each.

Grant dollars will also grow the programs’ capacity and pay for instructors and new equipment. To register for COCC Youth Camps, visit cocc.edu/youth.

The grant is also expanding summer credit coursework options offered free for local high schoolers at the Redmond, Madras and Prineville campuses. Impacting an estimated 266 high schoolers, free course subjects include geography, early childhood education and health and human performance. Additionally, the grant will help prepare underrepresented minority students for college-level science in a new weeklong program that emphasizes hands-on activities and career talks.

For more information on these programs, call 541-383-7700.

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