GODFREY - Magic, robotics, American Sign Language, self-defense…whatever your children are interested in, Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) has a College for Kids class that’s sure to satisfy.

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The College for Kids program runs throughout the summer. Kids come to campus for week-long classes taught by a local expert in the field.

Art classes with Julie Smith are a new offering this year, and Smith is enjoying the chance to teach young artists of the Riverbend.

“The biggest part of my classes is that I’m like, I need everybody to leave here with some bit of knowledge they didn’t have before, and we have to have had fun,” Smith said. “We’re going to try our best to make it as fun as possible.”

The class topics and sizes vary from week to week. Most recently, Smith has been working with three students in her class “Understanding Proportion, Scale and Space.” She said that the small class size has allowed her to connect with the kids on a personal level. As one student debated over which markers will best match Jupiter’s colors, Smith said she’s learned a lot about the planets and the kids’ other interests.

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“There’s a lot more of those personalities, and those interests are really coming out,” she added.

While this is Smith’s first time teaching through College for Kids, it likely won’t be her last. LCCC has expressed an interest in having her back next summer. She is also working with the college to develop additional art classes for kids and adults that will be offered throughout the year, including “Mommy and Me” classes.

As the week’s class wraps up, Smith and her students have prepared an art show to demonstrate their new skills to family and friends. Smith is excited to continue teaching through the end of June.

“You have to bring something new to the table pretty much every day,” Smith said.

“It’s almost like you have to learn something new every day because you are working with different personalities and groups. It’s certainly a challenge, but in a good way.”

Smith’s own art is available at art fairs or on commission. You can visit her website or Facebook page to learn more. To see the full listing of College for Kids classes, which are available until mid-August, click here.

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