Parents who take summer classes at Merced College can now get free enrollment for their child in the popular College for Kids summer program, which offers fun learning opportunities in a safe setting for children from 2nd through 8th grade.

College for Kids, which started at Merced College in 1976, begins June 6 and will offer classes over four sessions: June 6-16, June 21-30, July 11-21, and July 25-Aug. 4. Aquatics classes will be provided for kids of all ages, and sports camps will be offered in baseball, basketball, golf, tennis and volleyball, as well as hula and self-defense.

This year, through the new College for Parents program, any parent enrolling in at least one 3-unit college course this summer at Merced College can enroll their child in College for Kids for free. Merced College is offering summer sessions beginning on May 23 and June 20.

“There really is something for every child at College for Kids, and now we’ve made it easier than ever for parents who want to continue their own education at the same time,” said Dean of Instruction Caroline Dawson, who oversees the College for Kids program. “Merced College plays such an integral role in the well-being of our community, and we are proud to be able to offer these incredible programs to local families.”

An expanded slate of enrichment classes for kids — which include how to build and fly a drone, how to build and play a ukulele, and how to create “cocoa bombs,” to name but a few — is highlighted by a new theater offering of Disney’s Aladdin Jr., with classes from July 11 to Aug. 4 and performances on Aug. 5 and 6.

Aladdin Jr. is directed by LuanaLei Turetzky, Director of Education and Youth Programs at Playhouse Merced. Turetzky is an accomplished performer who has danced on stages for various governors, sung the national anthem at Fenway Park, toured with El Vocce del Montefeltro Opera Company in Italy, and worked as a performing arts coach, studio owner and teacher all over the U.S.

“This summer theater experience will allow children to dive into different facets of the theater arts and give them unique classroom and learning experiences over the summer break,” Turetzky said. “These types of partnerships are invaluable to building strong communities, and I love that Playhouse Merced gets to be part of this longstanding, enriching experience.”

In addition to directing Aladdin Jr., the multitalented Turetzky will also lead the “A Capella Kids” class, which will teach students vocal harmonies, body percussion, beat boxing and pitch training, and “Clownin’ Around,” in which students will learn how to tie balloon animals, paint faces, juggle, do simple magic tricks and more.

“It’s magical seeing students build confidence, learn fun theatrical skills, and develop character that will help them in every aspect of their lives,” she said.

Find more information about College for Kids, including registration and a full brochure outlining this year’s program.

Media Contact: James Leonard,, 209-681-1061