Keystone Science School leads after-school initiative
CATCH after-school program
- Who: Keystone Science School, Family Intercultural Resource Center, Summit County, Summit School District and the Town of Breckenridge
- What: Coordinated Approach to Child Health after school program
- When: After school through 5:30 or 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Where: Summit Cove, Dillon Valley, Silverthorne and Frisco elementary schools and the Breckenridge Recreation Center serving students of Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools
- Why: To provide children of families in need, as well as students across the district, with nutrition education and 60 minutes of physical activity
— To register for the program in Breckenridge, visit http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1012target="_blank">http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1012
— For more information, call Annie Markuson at Keystone Science School at 468-2098 or Jess Morse at the Town of Breckenridge Recreation Center at 970-547-4333
Last week the Keystone Science School announced it opened registration for an after-school program geared toward teaching children healthy eating habits as well as providing 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
The program, which incorporates two main elements including Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, and a Single Point of Contact for Kids, or SPOCK, will be available this year to all elementary school children across the Summit School District.
The CATCH after-school program is designed to promote healthy physical activity and eating behaviors in children, according to a Keystone Science School news release. It aims to equip children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy decisions, all while having fun.
Each day students will receive a lesson in nutrition along with participation in at least 60 minutes of physical activity. The SPOCK coordinator will communicate all after-school activities offered across the county, ensuring parents are aware of their options, the release stated.
“We just wanted to be able to provide enriching after-school activities to children, instead of having them go home to watch TV,” said Dave Miller, school programs director for the Keystone Science School. “We wanted to provide enriching afterschool programs to teach kids life long skills, healthy eating habits and give them the opportunity to participate in physical games.”
With the assistance of the Family Intercultural Resource Center, Summit County government, Summit School District and the town of Breckenridge, the Keystone Science School applied for a Special Initiatives grant through the Summit Foundation on behalf of every elementary school in Summit County. It was recently awarded the grant of $50,000 a year for three years to support the program.
The CATCH program is facilitated by Keystone Science School at Summit Cove, Dillon Valley, Silverthorne and Frisco elementary schools, the release stated. The town of Breckenridge is contracted to facilitate the CATCH program at the Breckenridge Recreation Center to serve the students from Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools.
“The biggest benefit of the program is a true collaborative effort between the schools and the community to work toward meeting the need of a greater base of students,” Miller said. “The Breckenridge Recreation Center’s participation is an example of a strong partner in the program.”
The CATCH program aims to reach those families with the highest need, namely those for whom paying for after-school care is prohibitive. Keystone Science School and the town of Breckenridge Recreation Center will work closely with school administrators and teachers to identify families in need to ensure these youth can participate, the release stated.
The program is free to students who qualify for and participate in the district’s free and reduced lunch program, $4 per day for students on CHP Plus reduced lunch program and $10 per day for all other students.
“The goal was to address a need in the community and make the program as accessible as possible,” Miller said. “That’s why we have a sliding scale fee system — to provide the program to as many kids in the community as possible.”
Because the program is funded by various entities, certain grant requirements must be met, Miller said. Youth participating in the CATCH program must attend at least three days a week. Although those days can vary, the curriculum builds on itself and missing multiple days results in a lack of cohesive understanding of the content.
Youth enrolled in the program must also participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each session. This is incorporated into the lesson plan along with ideas for healthy snacks and nutritional information.
The program runs from the end of the school day until 5:30 p.m. in all schools. Programs at the Breckenridge Recreation Center were extended to 6:00 p.m. due to transportation considerations. Students from Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools will be bussed to the recreation center.
Registration for the after-school programs opened Aug. 8. Parents may register their children online at http://www.KeystoneScienceSchool.org or at the town of Breckenridge Recreation Center’s website, http://www.townofbreckenridge.com. Families who require translation services should call the organizations directly.
Families who do not qualify for the CATCH program or who are unable to register due to space limitations can continue to take advantage of the town of Breckenridge’s drop-in after-school care program, the release stated.
This is the second community education grant awarded through the Summit Foundation, Miller said. A similar grant of $50,000 per year for three years was awarded to jumpstart the pre-collegiate program at Summit High School.
As with the pre-collegiate program, Miller said the goal is to acquire more diversified funding to keep the CATCH program rolling in Summit County into the future.
Additonal information will be available from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday during the Summit School District’s ice cream social, which will be hosted by each elementary school.
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