Summer Skills Academy: Learning can be fun and exciting

June 24, 2014

Summer typically conjures up thoughts of fun in the sun. On the other hand, the words “skills academy” typically have little relation to fun. But the Summer Skills Academy at Pamlico Community College beginning July 7 is designed to make learning fun.

The Academy is an opportunity for recent high school graduates planning to enter any college this fall who wish to hone their academic skills before embarking on a more rigorous course of study. The Academy also invites students currently working to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma to enroll. The Academy will make the learning process for them more fun than simply sitting in a classroom taking notes from an instructor.

A primary goal of the Academy is to create a refreshing approach to learning. The instructors will employ methods created to develop inquisitive minds with an appreciation for discovery.


Elaine Creel and Jim Privette are the lead instructors of the academy. Creel will focus on language arts while Privette will guide students in math and science studies.

Creel noted, “In language arts, we will address the challenge of making reading more interesting, trying to help students read for enjoyment and learning, not just because it is something assigned for them to do. We want students to develop a desire to read.”

She added, “The students will create a PowerPoint documentary which will include using expository writing skills as well as photography and visual arts for illustrative purposes.”

According to Privette, “If we can make learning exciting, learning will become a lifetime habit for these students. I plan to explain the use of common, ordinary devices such a cell phones or cameras to explain applied mathematics, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Many students have a phobia about algebra, but we can diminish that fear. Every time someone computes the price of an item at the grocer story that is 3 for 99 cents, they have solved an algebraic equation. We can make students more comfortable learning in a more structured way what they already know intuitively.”

The instructors also note that field trips to area sites will offer eyes-on, hands-on opportunities to see how what they are leaning has been applied in practical uses in the world around them. In addition to these excursions, resource speakers from a variety of occupations will present programs illustrating how learning the subject matter in classrooms impacts one’s growth as an employee in any career. Students will learn from professionals in the workforce how improving one’s level of education makes a dramatic difference in an individual’s lifestyle and standard of living.

Creel exclaimed, “Just think, this is a learning experience that is a fun-filled adventure and it’s all free.”

Marti Hunter, Chair of Basic skills at the college has coordinated the program. She observes, “It is quite probable that many prospective students who will benefit from the Summer Skills Academy might not read this story in the newspaper. But many who do read newspapers have children, relatives, or friends for whom this program is designed. We surely hope they will spread the word and encourage students to enroll who can benefit from the Academy.”

The Academy will operate Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., July 7 – 31. Students will need to bring a bag lunch but there is the possibility that the Academy will have one or two thematic lunches.

Learn more about the Academy which Elaine Creel tagged as a fun-filled adventure. Contact Marti Hunter, mhunter@pamlicocc, 252-249-1851 × 3082.