A passport to lifelong learning – Children’s University

By Lewis Brown

Children’s University Graduation in Newcastle

I am writing about Children’s University Australasia and Africa because I recently enrolled in it, and so far it has been an excellent program. I think more people should know about it because it is a great program for kids to learn and have fun.

Through Children’s University, children and young people get opportunities for after-school learning activities that help them to love learning and learn lots of skills that can help with educational success. The program is available in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, and the United Kingdom for children between the ages of five and 14, with the opportunity for students between the ages of 15 to 18 to participate as volunteers and leaders.

Children’s University is a charity that works with community and cultural institutions, like libraries and museums, that become “learning destinations” and offer approved learning activities. The activities are held at learning destinations, online at home, or even at an after-school club.

Activities earn you hours and stamps on your learning passport. The Children’s University coordinator is usually someone at your school, or if you are home-schooled like me, it could be your local librarian. At the end of the year, if you have reached a minimum of 30 hours on your learning passport, you are presented with a certificate at a ceremony in a cap and gown to graduate like the older University students.

A significant part of Children’s University is that it is entirely voluntary, so the kids can choose what activities they would like to do. It could be swimming lessons, gymnastics, robotics club, a local library Minecraft club or researching something at the museum or zoo. Everything you learn is connected to things you could study at university once you finish high school.

Children’s University also uses technology to inspire kids with ideas for projects that can be done at home after-school. On the online portal you can choose activities about:

  • Around the world
  • Animals, plants and outdoors
  • Food and cooking
  • Science, sustainability and space
  • Making and doing
  • Music and movement

The first activity I chose on Children’s University learning portal was watching a video of a school cooking class and following the chef’s recipe to bake chocolate chip biscuits. I baked the biscuits, took a photograph of my baking, wrote a procedure for my favourite recipe and then uploaded all of this to the portal. I submitted it on the portal and received a reply from the coordinator. The next time I visit the library for a Children’s University event, I will receive a stamp in my learning passport.

Not only can Children’s University help you to try lots of different ways of learning, but it can also give you a fun thing to look forward to after-school.

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