I am writing this letter in response to the "Leftover old CMC space up for grabs" article in the SDN October 25th issue. I am a 30+ year resident of Breckenridge and I was fortunate to have spent more than a decade working with our youth in our K-12 schools. I can say without a doubt, the best use for the old CMC building would be an after school youth center.Over the years numerous individuals (including myself) have researched the idea and considered developing such a program in Summit. But, in the end, it seemed to always come down to money and lack of a location that prevented us from taking it to the next level. Well, now with the availability of the CMC space, there seems less to stand in the way of making this a reality.Did you know, according to a study in 2010 by the Afterschool Alliance, 31 percent (251,728) of Colorado's K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school? Many of those last "728" are our children in our community.Breckenridge Councilman Ben Brewer could not have said it better when he said, his "bias would be toward underserved populations in our community." I think our children and senior/retired population should be included in this underserved population.That leads me to this: I see many of our seniors as the sadly unreached members in our community that have more to offer than most can imagine. I think they would be an invaluable resource who could make this center really work. Not only would this center provide a place after school where our kids are safe, engaged and exposed to an enriching environment, it could be with positive adult role models from our community who could share their many years of wisdom, knowledge and expertise by working with our kids. When I think about the space at the old CMC, I imagine a computer lab where kids without internet access at home can come and complete their homework and explore the word at their fingertips. I see a music and art area where we expose our kids to music and arts from around the world they may never knew existed. If there was a writing, reading and math area, students could have assistance with homework from adult volunteers. And maybe there should be an activity room where students can engage in fun activities like pool, ping-pong, board games and movies... Lastly, let the kids have input and help design their areas. If they have a say in what the center is, what it's called, how it looks and what activities are available - they are more likely to use it.It's true, "It takes a village to raise a child," and it takes all of us to get and keep our kids on the path to success. I know it's not so simple (nothing ever really good is), but if we take the initiative to provide these opportunities now, we are taking an active role in guiding our children towards becoming the sensible, caring, educated, responsible and confident adults of the future. Our children are the foundation of our community, and our community will only rise to its most potential if our children succeed. So, let's put our best foot forward and bring this historical icon, the old CMC, back to where it started at the turn of the 20th century... and make it a place for our greatest resource... our children. Sincerely,Rebecca Johnson, Breckenridge
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