Danette Bosh Alexander is Chair of the Department of Education and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Education and Director of Children’s College at Stark State College.
She lives in Plain Township with her husband Amos “Chip” Alexander. They have two sons, Ted Lund Jr. and Jack Lund and a daughter Kate Lund. They also have two grandchildren Quinn and Axton.
“We also have a 2-year-old Sheepadoodle (English Sheepdog and Poodle mix) named Barney,” Alexander said.
She graduated from Sandy Valley High School before graduating from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Family Relations and Human Development, Child Development. She is also a graduate of Malone University, with an MA in Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development; and is a doctoral candidate in the higher education program of the University of Toledo.
The four-week Kids’ College, which Bosh Alexander has run since 2014, is open to students in grades one through seven.
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As Principal of Kids’ College at Stark State, what do you enjoy most about welcoming so many kids to campus?
I really appreciate the energy that young students bring to campus. Summer is meant to be fun for kids, a break from the structured school year. But that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop.
I really love seeing kids engaged and exploring new ideas, revisiting their favorite activities, and meeting new friends from schools other than their own. We draw from a variety of neighborhoods.
Why do you think it is important for a college campus to offer programming for children?
I love that our program gives kids the opportunity to see themselves on a college campus. In fact, we repeatedly hear throughout camp “I’m going to college” or “My college is Stark State.”
Our camp allows students to explore their interests, strengthen their sense of themselves as learners, and even explore potential careers. We try to offer a wide variety of courses to appeal to all types of learners – bookworms, tech kids, physically energetic kids, social bugs, curious explorers and artists.
Our teachers are faculty members, primary and secondary teachers, and experts in their fields – students learn from the best.
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Share a fun story or two (without mentioning names) about some of the learning that takes place during Kids’ College.
One thing that makes us smile every year is watching kids learn to navigate campus.
Each student has a name tag with their class schedule and room numbers on the back. When changing classes, an often new task for our young students, they walk very carefully the first few days watching their name tag and room numbers.
We stand in the hallways always ready to help them find their way – some kids want help, but others want to figure it out on their own. The pride and confidence they create is simply amazing.
The Hollywood Special Effects & Make-Up class gives kids the opportunity to use their imaginations and create cuts, scars, and more. very realistic but obviously false. This course is taught by Dale Smith, former Kelly-Miller Bros. “Herky the Clown”. . Circus.
Children learn to layer latex and paint to create very rough and dramatic “wounds” and other special effects. There’s such a fascination – gore is cool to them, and they love to gross out their parents and us.
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What are the kids’ favorite classes that kids keep coming back to and why?
Some of our perennial favorites are Balloon Man, Hollywood Special Effects & Make-Up, Any Computer Class, Brain Quest Challenge, 4 Square, Camp Out on Campus, Mixology, Games Galore, the Fire Fighter series, Pets & People, Sign Language, logging and LegoMania.
Kids love these lessons because they are designed to be extremely hands-on and interactive. New this year are
- Seriously sensational STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) class where students can visit on-campus labs and participate in experiments and activities
- FlexFactor explores manufacturing and entrepreneurship as kids identify a real-world problem and brainstorm solutions
- Two acting classes – That’s So Dramatic and Stage Performance and Comedy – introduce children to the performing arts using a variety of short scenarios
What are some of the favorite courses you have taken during your educational and professional careers and why have you enjoyed them?
I loved my undergraduate courses in child development because I was fascinated to learn how children learn, grow and develop not only intellectually but also socially and emotionally.
As I pursued my Masters, I expanded into adult education with the same interest in understanding how to support learners of all ages. And more recently, in my doctorate. program, my favorite experience was the International Summer Leadership Institute where our cohort spent nearly three weeks touring Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to study the structure of community colleges in Europe.
I even had the opportunity to present a workshop on the Kids’ College to our Dutch hosts in Amsterdam.
Editor’s Note: Five Questions With… is a Sunday feature that features a member of the Stark County community. If you would like to recommend someone to participate, email [email protected]