Youth programs

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    A free kindergarten readiness program that helps prepare children to enter school ready to succeed.

    Children are matched with a Jumpstart member for one-to-one tutoring in a fun, safe, active learning environment. Children read books, sing songs and explore new ideas focused on building their language and literacy skills.

    Jumpstart is not a drop-in program. Children selected for enrollment attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays, October through May, from 4:00–5:45 p.m. There is also an optional session on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00–4:00 p.m. that is designed to build children’s social-emotional skills. Children 3-5 years of age, not enrolled in kindergarten, are eligible to participate.

    Space is limited! To enroll your child in Jumpstart, submit an application no later than September 12. Applications are available by emailing Christine Dickson.

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    Project Salsa

    A summer program for high school youth to learn job readiness and life skills through hands-on experiences with professionals. Earn class credit and a paycheck!

    An 8-week long summer camp program for high school students in Columbia that takes place Mondays–Fridays from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. The experience will provide opportunities for students to work from beginning to end on a project to foster skills that can be transferred into the workforce. There are three main components of Project Salsa – Grow, Cook, Sell:

    • GROW: This project trains youth to maintain a garden in which they grow tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantro.
    • COOK: Students will discuss nutrition, research recipes, and create their own unique salsa.
    • SELL: Students will apply business principles to sell their salsa at local markets. This will include creating a business plan, learning to cost out their salsa, creating a brand, and selling their product at Lucky’s Market and Columbia Farmer’s Market.

    Every step of the way, grow/cook/sell will be complemented by lectures, activities and field trips to foster skills in a hands-on way.

    Earn credit, then a paycheck! Upon completion of the program, students will get class credit from Columbia Public Schools. In addition, students will get paid for 4 weeks of service through the City of Columbia Career Awareness Related Experience (C.A.R.E.) program.

    For more information, email MU Family Impact Center or call 573-882-2428.

    This is a collaborative effort between MU Family Impact Center, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Public Schools, City of Columbia C.A.R.E. program, Lucky’s Market and Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company.

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    Camp Ca-Pow (College Access – Planning Our Way)

    A free camp for middle school students that focuses on planning for the future.

    Unfortunately, the wonderful Camp Ca-Pow program has been postponed due to COVID-19 but Show Me the Future launched in April 2021 as a virtual option for career and college exploration for middle schoolers. This innovative new program includes virtual tours of Missouri colleges, career assessments, career podcasts created in partnership with college and middle school students, and reflection activities. All of these materials are housed in a Google Classroom which can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Show Me the Future is free for all interested participants.

    Learn more

    Information will be posted here if/when the decision is made to resume Camp Ca-Pow.