Upward Bound Summer Program: Educational and fun

July 27, 2016

Only half-way through Upward Bound’s Summer Program and already so much has happened. High school students from across Plumas County came together mid-June to embark on a Leadership Camp at Lake Almanor’s Camp Conery. The Leadership Camp is the kick-off adventure for the Summer Program which helps the students get to know each other. While there was quite a bit of game-playing and s’more-eating, Upward Bound students also participated in a community service project, weeding, planting, and cleaning up the Sierra Hospice Memorial Garden in Chester. On the second day of camp the students learned valuable lessons about themselves and life while participating in a day-long challenge course facilitated by Project Discovery. For several years now Project Discovery has created fun, situational games and challenges that are geared toward building self-awareness, confidence, teamwork and friendship. Even some of the more shy students really opened up during these activities.

                The following week, students began coursework on the Feather River College campus in which they were placed in appropriate math, science, Spanish and language arts classes according to their previous level of course completion. College Life Skills is another class that every student must participate in. Last week’s College Life Skills classes focused on career exploration and included presentations from several professionals working in our community. 

                Every Friday Upward Bound students take a break from classes to go on a subject-themed field trip. For the first field trip of the Summer Program, Chemistry and Biology instructor Billy Ogle took the students to Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary in Oroville. There the students were led on a very interesting and educational tour of the Sanctuary. They learned about the qualities, habitats, and lifestyle of many animals that live at the Sanctuary, including a variety of tigers, lions, “tigons”, bears, parrots, tortoises, and an alligator. None of the students had ever seen a tigon, which is a cross between a male tiger and a female lion. The whole outing was not only interesting and educational but also provided very unique exposure to a multitude of wild animals.

                For the second Friday field trip, Upward Bound students participated in poetry readings at the Quincy Public Library. They went on a tour that included a detailed explanation of the excellent “zip book” program that allows the public to request books that the library then purchases online and sends straight to the requester before becoming part of the library’s permanent collection. The students took turns reading poetry aloud in the library’s reading room, first reading their own poems that they had been working on in their Language Arts class, and then reading pieces from their favorite poets.

                After a one-week holiday break, Upward Bound students participate in two more weeks of enrichment courses, math and Spanish field trips, and the ever-popular college tour. This year students who have the highest attendance rates in the Summer Program are selected to attend the four-day, all expenses paid college tour to UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, St. Mary’s College and Napa Community College. In addition to visiting Bay Area Colleges, students will spend time at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, learn to utilize BART and San Francisco public transit, partake in a hiking and nature tour at Sibley Volcanic Preserve, and will gain first-hand experience of what life is like living in the dorms at UC Berkeley.

                For more information about Upward Bound or to download an application for your high school student, visit the Upward Bound website at www.frc.edu/upwardbound/ or call the UB office at 283-0202 ext. 276.