Education students gain classroom experience through Summer Spectacular

The annual camp, open to children ages 4-12, is overseen by TROY students and faculty.

The annual camp, open to children ages 4-12, is overseen by TROY students and faculty.

Troy University College of Education students are gaining valuable experience this summer with the Summer Spectacular program at the University’s Dothan Campus.

In its 26th year, the camp gives Wiregrass children ages 4 to 12 a chance for summer fun while they learn about science, technology, engineering and math.

The experience also benefits the TROY students who organize, lead and teach the sessions, which started this week and continue next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“There are hands-on activities each day, and we have different activities the first and second week,” said Erin Rosa, a senior majoring in early childhood education at the Dothan Campus. “It’s really a chance for kids to make crafts, take them home, show their parents and display them around the classroom.”

Rosa, who is participating in the program for the second time, is leading Summer Spectacular this year.

“Being in charge of Summer Spectacular has been very helpful,” she said. “It has helped me to observe children of all ages in one setting, learn more about the constructivist approach to teaching, and one day I’ll be able to use that hands-on learning approach in my own classroom.”

While the activities are led by the children, who choose their materials and come up with ideas, the teachers gain experience organizing classrooms and encouraging student development.

“I hope I can take away some really great classroom management skills,” said Ali Wozniak, a senior early childhood education major serving as a teacher leader at Summer Spectacular. “Being here, it gets a little crazy and the kids can be rambunctious, but they are so much fun. We have to keep them on task. I hope that when the children leave, they have had the most fun. When they tell you they’re going home and sharing things with other people, it makes you excited that you’ve impacted them in such a way.”

Registration is ongoing, and parents can sign their children up by visiting Adams Hall 109 at the Dothan Campus. Summer Spectacular continues June 25-27 from 9 a.m. until noon.