A pre­sent from the fu­ture

Richmond Hill Post - - The kids - By Katie Dupuis

Ex­tracur­ric­u­lars are pretty stan­dard for most kid­dos: sports, dance, maybe a games club, an art work­shop or a drama class.

But what if your child’s out­sideof-school ac­tiv­i­ties could teach him or her skills that might ac­tu­ally look im­pres­sive on a re­sumé when the time comes to ap­ply for a job? If it seems far-fetched — be­cause your off­spring don’t even have bank ac­counts or know how to do their laun­dry yet — be­lieve us, it isn’t.

Read on to learn about five pro­grams in the GTA where your young­ster is sure to pick up a thing or two. Fast Mo­tion Stu­dios spe­cial­izes in mo­tion cap­ture and vis­ual ef­fect ser­vices, and it has smartly ex­tended its ex­per­tise to kids. Par­ents of chil­dren aged nine to 14 can choose from af­ter-school and camp-for­mat work­shops to in­tro­duce kids to the world of cre­at­ing mo­tion pic­tures, tele­vi­sion shows or video games, in a hands-on way un­der the watch­ful eye of the pros. The com­pany oc­cu­pies an 8,000-square-foot build­ing, with an in-house stu­dio space, so the only prob­lem will be find­ing your fu­ture tech ex­pert should he or she de­cide never to leav­ing. fast­mo­tion­stu­dios.com the com­pe­ti­tion by let­ting the ex­perts at Hatch teach them how to pro­gram. Kids will learn to write code, as well as how to de­bug, find er­rors and read code writ­ten by others, in a fun, col­lab­o­ra­tive set­ting. Hatch also has classes in ro­bot­ics, video edit­ing, 3D modelling and more. Choose from weekly classes, camps or $5 Fri­days, where kids who are in­ter­ested in tech can come and try out a va­ri­ety of work­shops to get a feel for Hatch’s style. hatch­canada.com Ju­nior Achieve­ment ( JA) has been around for al­most 100 years. It is ded­i­cated to teach­ing kids about fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, work readi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship, and to date it has served more than 4.4 mil­lion Canadian stu­dents. JA Cen­tral On­tario of­fers pro­grams for kids from Grade 5 and up, with top­ics such as own­ing and run­ning your own busi­ness, mak­ing smart money de­ci­sions, un­der­stand­ing the value of di­ver­sity and how to be suc­cess­ful in aca­demic pur­suits. Visit the web­site to learn more about pro­gram of­fer­ings and avail­abil­ity in your area. ja­canada.org Named Best Kids’ Work­shop by Toronto Life Mag­a­zine, Mak­erKids Cod­ing and Ro­bot­ics for Kids runs 10-week pro­grams, for two hours a week either af­ter school or on week­ends, with an aim to teach kids real-world skills while help­ing them make friends and cre­ate some­thing amaz­ing. Choose from cod­ing (How to Code a Video Game), ro­bot­ics (Make It Light Up) and Minecraft (Com­mands and Cir­cuits) op­tions this fall. The pro­grams, suit­able for kids aged seven to 12, tout the abil­ity to change kids from “con­sumers to cre­ators.” Go on­line to read more or to reg­is­ter for an up­com­ing ses­sion. Birth­day party and school PA day pro­grams are also on of­fer. mak­erkids.com At the south end of High Park, just north of Col­bourne Lodge, sits the Chil­dren’s Gar­den and Chil­dren’s Teach­ing Kitchen of Toronto’s Chil­dren’s Eco Pro­grams. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s MO is to in­tro­duce kids to na­ture in the city. Par­ents can choose from a va­ri­ety of pro­gram op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing eco camp, PA day and March break camps as well as birth­day par­ties, fam­ily dropin hours, lead­er­ship train­ing and more (teach­ers, there are class trip op­tions too!). Dur­ing pro­gram hours, kids will learn to re­late to and ob­serve na­ture, cul­ti­vate growth in the field and the gar­dens and learn to cook with fresh fruits and veg­gies.

Even if your child doesn’t aspire to be a farmer or a sci­en­tist, learn­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment is go­ing to be more and more cru­cial for gen­er­a­tions to come. chil­drensec­o­pro­grams.ca

Mak­erKids of­fers cour­ses in ro­bot­ics and cod­ing for bud­ding techies

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