Archive for College for Kids


Focus to be on noncredit courses including kids summer programs

Zachary Jernigan has been hired as Yavapai College’s Community Education Coordinator for the Verde Valley and Sedona.  He will be focusing on non-credit courses in the Verde Valley  including summer programs for kids. He begins January 16.

Jernigan is a journalist, college creative writing instructor and author. His novels, No Return and the Nebula Award-nominated Shower of Stones, are compiled in Jeroun: The Collected Omnibus. His short fiction has been selected by publishers for the Pushcart Prize and shortlisted for the Spectrum Award.

For the Fall 2017 semester, Jernigan is teaching CRW 139: Introduction to Creative Writing.

As a journalist for Larson newspapers, residents in the Verde Valley have enjoyed his reporting on education and other matters for the Cottonwood Journal Extra and the Camp Verde Journal.  His replacement at Larson Newspapers is Kelcie Grega.

Congratulations Mr. Jernigan.



Wills’ also says it may put pressure on Prescott; Difference is strong Verde Leadership and overall Cooperation

President Penelope Wills was no doubt surprised by the huge enrollment on the Verde Campus for this year’s College for Kids summer program of over “1,000” students.  By comparison, there were only 354 students enrolled on the Prescott side where there is double the population.

Wills noted when she spoke to the District Governing Board at its June 13, 2017 meeting  that the program was not run in the Verde Valley two years ago when the College staff person in charge quit shortly before the program was to begin.  Wills may have forgotten that three years ago the program also did not operate in the Verde Valley. 

Wills heaped praise on College staff member Linda Buchanan but failed to mention by name the outstanding leaders behind the program in the Verde Valley. She also failed to recognize the thousands of dollars contributed by the public schools in the Verde Valley that made the program accessible to the students.

The outstanding leadership provided by the Verde Valley came in the form of principal Heather Wacker and superintendents Barbara U’Ren and Steve King along with splendid cooperation from Verde Campus Executive Dean James Perey. While many others contributed to the program, they were the key to the program’s success.  The schools in the Verde Valley contributed an estimated $20,000 to the program for transportation, meals, along with staff to supervise the project. 

The program illustrates just how successful an educational endeavor in the Verde Valley can be when there is cooperation and strong leadership.   For some, it also strongly suggests that the Verde Valley could operate a successful community college on its own.

The statement made by Wills’ about the program at the Governing Board meeting follows below.


Program experiences an all-time enrollment; double from last year

The Verde Independent in an article written by Bill Helm on June 4, 2017  reported that the Verde Valley “College for Kids” program to be held on the Verde Campus had filled “almost 1200 slots.”  As the Blog reported in its May 14 posting (scroll down), “Strong leadership from local Superintendents” and cooperation from Yavapai College has resulted in a complete turn-around of the program.  The enrollment this year is double last year.

Principal Heather Wacker, as quoted by Mr. Helm, explained the purpose of the program as follows:  “College for Kids allows all kids, K-12, to get excited about attending college at any age. We have worked collaboratively with Yavapai College and Mingus Union High School to build classes K-12 that are fun, intellectually stimulating and engaging. There really is something for everyone.”

There are obviously many individuals to credit with the enormous success of this program but certainly Heather Wacker, assistant principal at Cottonwood Middle School, retiring Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s Barbara U’ren and incoming superintendent Steve King were driving forces behind it.  Executive  Verde Valley Campus Dean James Perey should be recognized for developing the cooperative attitude of Yavapai College toward the project. 

To read much more about the program, please click here to access Mr. Helm’s on-line article.


Strong leadership from local Superintendents inspiring–485 enroll in 2016–more expected this year

The Yavapai Community College “College for Kids” program in the Verde Valley, which was closed down in 2012 and 2013, has returned with a roar.  This is thanks to the leadership provided by the local superintendents in the Verde Valley that began last year and cooperation from Yavapai College.

The “College for Kids” program is intended to provide encouragement, interest and enthusiasm for attending a college or obtaining technical education training in the future. It covers all grades.

The Verde Valley program has had some rough spots.  Enrollment was climbing when the College closed the program down in 2012. The College said it couldn’t find any space for the summer program during Verde Campus construction.  Then, in 2013, the College failed to find a director for the program so it remained closed. Finally, in 2014 Linda Buchanan, who headed the program in its earliest days, was given back responsibility for the program by Yavapai College.  While it returned in 2014 its offerings were meager when compared to those given in Prescott.  In 2015 only 14 programs were offered. 

Then, in 2016 Steve King and other superintendents in the Verde Valley stepped in to give the College a helping hand. There began a joint, serious effort to build the program with bus transportation provided by the District schools and extensive scholarships offered by the District schools and the College.  Dean James Perey told the Governing Board on May 9, 2017 that in 2016 485 children and young adults attended the “College for Kids” on the Verde Campus.

This year the program has expanded and it is expected that many more children and young adults in high school will enroll. For the first time in its history, the Verde Valley will be offering more courses in its College for Kids program than Prescott.   A comparative chart and a one-minute video about the program follows.

Wow! What a turn-around!

College for Kids Verde Valley Class Registration May 1

Online registration begins May 1st! 

This can be a summer that is fun-filled, creative and educational on the Yavapai College Verde Valley campus at the College for Kids.

 Classes for kids ages 5-17 will be offered  in science and technology, nature, creative arts, drama, filmmaking and writing, cooking, languages and more.

Visit Yavapai College and ask about the program at the Celebration of the Child (April 15/Cottonwood). The College for Kids schedule will be placed in Kudos 4 Kids. Also, check for listings online at

Online registration begins May 1st! Visit this link to go directly to the Verde Valley catalog and register online for Summer 2017.


Summer College for Kids Complete Makeover on Verde Campus

Courses, scholarships, transportation, child care being offered

college for kids 3The 2016 College for Kids program on the Verde Campus in Clarkdale will offer  a large array of short summer classes for youngsters ranging in age from 3 to  17.  This is the first time in the history of the program that this kind of effort has been made in the Verde Valley.
Here are  additional “firsts” for the program.

(a) The Beaver Creek School District is providing full tuition scholarship to eligible students attending College For Kids at Verde Valley Campus. The District is also providing school bus transportation to and from Yavapai College for the June 6 – 23 session. Ms. Jordan Harris, coordinator, Beaver Creek 21 Century programming, will be on campus daily during the morning session to help Beaver Creek children and parents plan the best course selection, apply for scholarships, and chart the path to higher education in the future! Contact Jordan Harris at or 928.567.4631 x1902.

(b) The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is providing school bus transportation for their enrolled students to and from Yavapai College for Kids at Verde Valley Campus for the June 6 – 23, and the July 11 – 21 sessions. Bus route information and requests should be directed to Ms. Heather Wacker, coordinator, C-OCSD Arizona College and Career Readiness, 928.634.2231 x604.

(c) Bright Futures Child Care, provided by Buena Vista Children’s Services, has teamed up with Yavapai College for Kids to provide a fun and enriching summer for children. Busy families may benefit from services provided on campus, such as professional child care before, between, and after College For Kids classes; transportation planning; nutritious meals; and “Discovery Connection” curriculum for children in care, at hourly or weekly rate. Pre-payment for child care services required. Contact Bright Futures to learn more or enroll by clicking here.

This is a great first-step in revitalizing the Yavapai Community College program in the Verde Valley. To review all of the more than 40 courses being offered, click here.

College For Kids Summer Program on Verde Campus lags behind Prescott

Verde offers about half the courses available in Prescott

The summer College for Kids program offered by Yavapai College is about ready to get off the ground.  This year, as in years past, the residents on the East side of the County will be offered fewer classes and registration will lag behind Prescott by about two weeks.

college for kids 3college for kids 3The College for Kids program registration has already opened on the Prescott Campus (April 20).  The program on the Verde Campus is not expected to open for registration until May 1, according to the College.  There is no specific College for Kids program in Camp Verde or Sedona.

There are 25 courses listed in the curriculum for the Verde Campus.  However, six of them are contracted out to the Missoula Children’s Theatre.  There are 40 classes listed on the Prescott Campus. 

Persons interested in registering for the Prescott summer program should click here for more information.

Persons interested in registering for the Verde summer program can register online or may call 928-634-6530.  Additional details for the Verde program can be found by clicking here

Kids film program

Yavapai College Kid’s Film premiered July 15 on Verde Valley Campus

The world premiere of Strange Island, the Yavapai College Kid’s Film Project, was screened Wednesday, July 15 at 9:45 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. in Room M-202 at the Verde Valley Campus. Led by instructor Edward Darkslade (also known as James Davis), children ages 7 to 10 learned how to create a 30-minute film from pre-production to premier. The summer class taught cinematic skills such as effects, scoring, screenplay writing, prop work and design, green screen and puppetry.

childrens film programUnfortunately, the Blog did not receive notice of the event until after it had occurred. Sorry Blog readers.

Prescott dominates College for Kids Summer Program

College for Kids programs dramatically show disparity in YC development between the East and West sides of the County

The Community College “College for Kids” program provides “fun-filled, creative and educational courses” for youngsters from 5 to 17. It is a well developed, well organized, and effectively advertised program in the Prescott area.

College for kids 2On the East side of the County, the College failed to offer a “College for Kids” program in 2012 and 2014 on either the Verde Campus or at the Sedna Center. This year it offered the program on the Verde Campus but not at the Sedona Center.  It is unclear how it was handled in Camp Verde.

What is clear is the disparity in development of this program on the East side of the County.

Here are the programs offered by the College on the two sides of Mingus Mountain this year.  The list on the left contains the courses offered on the Verde Campus.  The list on the right contains the courses offered in Prescott.


College for Kids Verde Campus 2015


College for Kids Prescott Campus 1

College for Kids Prescott Campus 2 2015 summer offerings

Kids on west side of County benefit from many College youth clinics

No youth clinics scheduled for Sedona Center or Verde Campus

Kids on the west side of Yavapai County benefit tremendously from the summer youth clinics sponsored by the Community College. However, the College does not sponsor any of these programs on the East side of the County. Unfortunately this appears to be another example of how little the College is concerned with the 77,000 folks on the East side of the County. 

youth clinicsThe following is a list of some of the great programs being offered by the College on the West side of the County in Prescott and Prescott Valley.

Volleyball Youth Clinic (Grades 1-8) June 2 – 4, 2015. Fee: $30.
Volleyball Youth Camp (Grades 1-8) June 8-10, 2015. Fee: $150.
Volleyball All Skills Camp (Grades 6-12) June 11-13, 2015. Fee: $175 Commuter / $325 Overnight.
Free Soccer Clinic – Friday, August 14, 2015 (Prescott Valley).
Free Soccer Clinic – Saturday, August 15, 2015 (Prescott).
Baseball camp: May 10, 2015 Tryout Camp – Prescott. Fee: $50.
June 1-4, 2015 Baseball Day Camp – Prescott. Fee: $75.
June 23-24, 2015 Reel Recruit Camp. Camp Fee: $400 if registered by June 11, 2015.
July 19-22, 2015 Baseball Overnight Camp. Fee: $175 / $400 (commuter and overnight rates.)

For more information, please go to the following College website by clicking here.