Adult Learners and Veteran Services offers a special study break option for student parents at Colorado State University. RamKidz Village provides free structured, educational activities for children so that parents have the opportunity to catch up on homework or study for tests without being interrupted. And it’s run by CSU students.
Located in the Morgan Library on campus, on the second floor in room 201A, RKV is available to student parents Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Erika Seeling, a student parent in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, frequently uses RKV to get uninterrupted study time. After her mom told her about the RKV initially, Seeling signed her 7-year-old son up and immediately noticed positive results for both of them.
“He loves it and really enjoys the one-on-one time he gets with the teachers,” said Seeling. “It’s beneficial for him as well; he learns through play and the different themes they have each month.”
Seeling often has to juggle homework and spending time with her son after school, and she, like most parents, wants to make sure that her son is able to have some quality time with her after the school day.
“It’s a total lifesaver,” said Seeling. “I use it every weekend, and lately my son has even been asking to go to RamKidz on the weekdays after school.”
Students, many of them Human Development and Family Studies majors or simply students who are interested in pursuing a career with kids, manage and run the center, providing a safe and comfortable environment for children in their care.
Alie Settje, a junior studying Human Development and Family Studies, initially got involved with RKV because she needed volunteer hours, but the job has become something she’s very passionate about, as she’s just been hired on as the assistant manager for next year.
While Settje doesn’t know what she’d like to do with her degree, she knows that she wants to work with children and is getting real-world experience in developing lesson plans, leading staff meetings and working with a diverse group of peers and kids.
“I think knowing how much of an impact we make on the parents is my favorite part,” said Settje. “Knowing that for a couple of hours parents can have some free time to get homework done or just have a break.”
The only requirements are that parents must be students at CSU and must stay in the library while their child is attending RKV. Children from ages 1-11 are welcome to attend, and can stay at RKV for up to two hours.
Before children attend, parents need to register them for the program and bring completed forms to their first visit at RKV.