Summit County after-school program enters third year
SUMMIT COUNTY AFTERSCHOOL YOUTH ACTIVITIES
ATA Family Martial Arts
Contact: Bill Dyke at (970) 485-4170
Ages 4 and up
Breckenridge Recreation Center
Contact: Jessica Morse at (970) 547-4333
Ages 2 months to 18 years
CATCH Afterschool Program
Contact: Annie Markuson at (970) 468-2098
Colorado Learning Connections
Contact: Ashley Hotz at (970) 668-0954
Ages 5 and up
Cub Scout Pack 186
Contact: Kendal Vaille at (970) 513-1876
Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
Where: Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone
Contact: Michael Connolly at (970) 262-3449
Frisco Winter Vacation Sensation
Contact: Linsey Kach at (970) 668-9133
Girl Scouts of Colorado
Contact: Cricket Hawkins at (970) 379-9059
Gold Run Nordic Center
Contact: Marika Page at (970) 453-3381
High Country Soccer Association (HCSA)
Where: Breckenridge, Silverthorne and county-wide seasonal programs
Contact: Amanda Wandtke at (970) 423-6283
Silverthorne Recreation Center
Contact: Nancy Bomgardner at (970) 262-7377
Stephen C West Ice Arena
Contact: Erin Socks at (970) 547-9974
Summit County 4-H
Contact: Kathie Kralik at (970) 668-4142
Summit School of Dance
Where: Breckenridge, Frisco
Contact: Melanie Frey at (970) 668-3975
Ages 2.5 and up
Summit-Lake Dillon Optimists
Contact: Marie Orlin at (970) 468-0362
Teen Drop-In: Mountain Mentors
Contact: Shawna Lane at (970) 668-9182
The Cycle Effect
Contact: Jaime Brede at (970) 401-1102
This guide was compiled by Keystone Science School through grant funding provided by The Summit Foundation. More information about these programs can be found on their individual websites or on SummitSource.org. If you would like to add your organization to this list or correct information about your program, contact Annie Markuson at email@example.com.
Annie Markuson stood holding a clipboard in the hallway by the front entrance of Frisco Elementary.
By the fourth week of school, the CATCH after-school program manager knew which kids were in her program, and she corralled them along the wall.
Every now and then, some little ones forget they’re supposed to go with her and the CATCH program, she said, so she literally has to catch students before they walk outside and onto a bus.
Markuson and two assistants led the group of 16 students to a classroom, and she enthusiastically explained the day’s healthy snack: avocado, bell pepper and cucumber on whole-wheat tortillas with homemade yogurt ranch dressing.
Some kids tried the whole combo, others rejected some of the veggies or the dressing and still others ate just the tortilla.
While the kids chowed down, Markuson asked them about whether the day’s snack and other foods fit into nutritional categories the group refers to as “go,” “slow” and “whoa.” Then she changed the subject to screen time and challenged the kids to spend less time on electronic devices for the next few days and more time being active.
What are some “go activities” you could do? she asked. Biking, jumping, swimming, the kids suggested.
“Art!” one girl said.
“Is that a go activity?” Markuson asked.
“Well, it helps your fingers!” the girl said.
Now in its third year, CATCH, which stands for Coordinated Approach to Child Health, is more popular than ever.
“The program is so well supported and loved that we actually have waiting lists at three of the five programs,” Markuson said.
CATCH is designed to promote healthy physical activity and improve eating behaviors in children, and the program was created in the fall of 2012 after the school district ended its after-school program in the spring of 2011.
Some parents reacted to the district shutting down its programs with comments about how they wouldn’t be able to keep living in Summit County without the affordable after-school care they relied on. The lack of a program like CATCH was a huge issue for families, especially ones living on small budgets and without nearby relatives to help provide child care while parents worked, Markuson said.
“There literally was not an everyday option for parents,” she said, “which became obviously a huge social services issues and a concern for the community in general and a struggle.”
CATCH is funded by a grant the Family and Intercultural Resource Center applied for through the Colorado Health Foundation and is run by the Keystone Science School in partnership with Summit County Youth and Family Services.
The grant-subsidized program charges parents on a sliding scale. Children who qualify for free and reduced lunch can attend free, and kids who qualify for Medicaid CHP+ can attend for $4 a day. The rest of the kids attend for $10 a day.
In comparison to the old program offered by the school district, which was more like babysitting, said Julie McCluskie, district spokeswoman, CATCH is more affordable and gets kids moving and learning.
Every day, kids in CATCH receive a snack, healthy choices lesson and at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Last year, CATCH expanded to the two elementary schools in Breckenridge through the Breckenridge Recreation Center. Normally, CATCH runs from the end of the school day until 5:30 p.m., but the programs in Breckenridge were extended to 6 p.m. to allow time for transportation to the rec center.
This year, the program has enrolled 155 kids from all the elementary schools who participate three to five days a week. With increasing demand, Markuson said, the next step for the program is to figure out how to serve more children.
Back at Frisco Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 11, CATCH employees carried balls and hula hoops and encouraged the kids to march, hop, sidestep and skip to the field next to the school’s playground.
Two soccer programs and another group called “Girls on the Run” shared the field with the CATCH students, who ran around doing exercises that improved their coordination and soccer skills.
Then they played a game modeled after freeze tag called “stuck in the mud” where the students who were “frozen” jumped back and forth instead of standing still. The kids chased each other smiling and laughing.
For more information about the CATCH program, visit keystone scienceschool.org.
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