By Lenore Sobota; Photos by Lewis Marien and David Proeber
BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan University is having its first Youth Esports and Leadership Camp this summer.
The IWU Language School for Kids also is returning this summer in person after being virtual last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Language School for Kids will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays June 14-24.
The school is for children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. They have the opportunity to learn French or Spanish language and culture. Classes are divided by age group and previous language experience and bilingual/heritage speakers are welcome.
Classes will take place in the Buck memorial Library or on IWU’s quad, weather permitting.
The fee of $240 per student includes tuition and instructional materials. There is a discounted multi-sibling fee of $216.
Deadline for registration is June 11, but pre-K to second-grade Spanish is already full and only a few spots are left in Spanish for third to fifth-graders.
The Language School for Kids started in 2015 and is made possible by a 2014 Donnocker program Innovation Grant and continuous support from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.
The esports camp is for children ages 10 to 14. They will have a chance to play Fortnite, Rocket League and Among Us.
But the camp is about more than playing games, according to the university. It also will include lessons in leadership, communication and how to be a healthy gamer.
The IWU Esports coaching staff will lead students in physical activities and group exercises in tandem with esports games.
IWU’s esports program started as a registered student organization in spring 2017 and launched its varsity program in fall 2018.
Since then, other schools, including Illinois State University, Lincoln College and Heartland Community College, have added esports programs.
Registration is continuing for the second session, which will be July 12-16.
The fee is $150.
Links for registration can be found at bit.ly/3gdvkbC.
IPCF awarded Illinois Wesleyan University General Grants in 2020 and 2021 to support the Summer Language School.
If you would like to help fund more programs like this in the community, donate online to IPCF’s Annual Campaign which funds the General Grants.
Caption for top photo: Ishaan Shukla, 8, Bloomington, shouts out French words during the Illinois Wesleyan University’s Language School for Kids in 2019. The school is returning to in-person classes in June 2021.