While many kids are enjoying a summer out of the classroom, others from a five-county area around Elkins are still in the business of learning and preparing for their next steps in education. They're at Davis and Elkins for Upward Bound's summer program, which is taking the opportunity this year to add some new classes to its agenda.
"Here at Davis and Elkins College, our Upward Bound programs are celebrating 25 years of summer programs. We're pleased that this year, we are exploring new heights, but also celebrating an anniversary," said Upward Bound Director Carol Suder-Howes.
This year, those new heights are a bit noisy, as students were learning to program electronics with the help of an Upward Bound teacher. The different kind of lesson is one of the reasons that Upward Bound has been so strong at D&E.
"I like it because it's not just the normal classroom environment. You actually get to have fun. You are learning, but having fun at the same time," said Philip Barbour High School junior Kyrstin Carter.
And the learning those students do will take them farther than other students might. About 87% of students who participate in the program go on to complete a college degree, a rate that's higher than the state average. Suder-Howes said the time the students spend staying on campus and experiencing college life between classes is another important piece of that puzzle.
"Much more exposure to changes and what cultural things are out there, and what social things that are many times maybe creating a barrier for them. They learn to understand those and accept them for who they are and move to a higher standard," Suder-Howes said.