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Middle schoolers participate in camps

Kayla Ferguson, a rising eighth-grader at the Theme School, works on hair styling techniques in the cosmetology class this week.

Kayla Ferguson, a rising eighth-grader at the Theme School, works on hair styling techniques in the cosmetology class this week.

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Students got a chance to use screen printing to make T-shirts this week at the Summer Theme Camps at the Newton College & Career Academy. Dakota Phillips, right, a senior who took graphic arts at NCCA and also attends Alcovy High School, assists Dedric Baker, a rising eighth-grader at the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, left, and Anthony Milien, a seventh-grader from Clements Middle School in the class. Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

COVINGTON -- Middle school students got first-hand experience at things like screen printing, cosmetology and law enforcement this week.

Students participated in the first ever Summer Theme Camps, held at the Newton College & Career Academy, which was open to rising seven- and eighth-grade students.

"I feel like it's been a success," said Trina Nickson, who helped coordinate the camp with Michelle Smith. "The kids are thoroughly enjoying themselves."

Nickson said the camps expose students to NCCA programs and topics like graphic arts, marketing, law enforcement, engineering, manufacturing, cosmetology, computer applications, money smarts and Photoshop. Each student participated in a different area each day of the camp, for a total of four areas this week.

"The kids are getting a feel for what we offer," she said.

In cosmetology, students studied basics like shampooing, blow drying and flat ironing. In graphic arts, students made shirts through screen printing and personalized note pads, while in manufacturing and engineering, students learned how to make a model dragster and race it. In marketing, the students created a product and learned how to market it, and in computer applications, students learned about animation, Excel charts and the inside of a computer.

"I want to learn how to do stuff for high school and be prepared for college," said Gregory Odom, a rising eighth-grade student at the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, about why he wanted to participate in the camp.

His fellow classmate, Ellis Misenheimer, a rising seventh-grade student at Indian Creek Middle School, even thinks the camp topics will help him prepare for a career. He hopes to be an architect one day.

"I've been very impressed with the middle schoolers," said Debra Lary, who taught the computer applications class. "They are all super smart and eager to learn, so it makes it fun."

Nickson said she expects more students for next week's session, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.

Families can still register their students for next week -- they can register them at the school at 8 a.m. Monday. Registration forms can be found on the school website at www.newtoncareeracademy.org or in the front office at NCCA.

The cost is $25 per student, per session.