Summit County after-school program enters third year |

Summit County after-school program enters third year

A Frisco Elementary student in the CATCH after-school program plays a ball skills game on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.
Alli Langley / |


ATA Family Martial Arts

Where: Frisco

Contact: Bill Dyke at (970) 485-4170" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 4 and up

Breckenridge Recreation Center

Where: Breckenridge

Contact: Jessica Morse at (970) 547-4333" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 2 months to 18 years

Transportation available

CATCH Afterschool Program

Where: county-wide

Contact: Annie Markuson at (970) 468-2098" target="_blank">Text">

Grades K-5

Colorado Learning Connections

Where: Frisco

Contact: Ashley Hotz at (970) 668-0954" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 5 and up

Cub Scout Pack 186

Where: County-wide

Contact: Kendal Vaille at (970) 513-1876

Grades 1-5

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District

Where: Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone

Contact: Michael Connolly at (970) 262-3449" target="_blank">Text">

All ages

Frisco Winter Vacation Sensation

Where: Frisco

Contact: Linsey Kach at (970) 668-9133" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 5-12

Girl Scouts of Colorado

Where: County-wide

Contact: Cricket Hawkins at (970) 379-9059

Grades K-12

Transportation available

Gold Run Nordic Center

Where: Breckenridge

Contact: Marika Page at (970) 453-3381" target="_blank">Text">

All ages

Transportation available

High Country Soccer Association (HCSA)

Where: Breckenridge, Silverthorne and county-wide seasonal programs

Contact: Amanda Wandtke at (970) 423-6283" target="_blank">Text">

Grades K-12

Silverthorne Recreation Center

Where: Silverthorne

Contact: Nancy Bomgardner at (970) 262-7377" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 5-12

Stephen C West Ice Arena

Where: Breckenridge

Contact: Erin Socks at (970) 547-9974" target="_blank">Text">

All ages

Transportation available

Summit County 4-H

Where: County-wide

Contact: Kathie Kralik at (970) 668-4142" target="_blank">Text">

Gradnes 1-12

Summit School of Dance

Where: Breckenridge, Frisco

Contact: Melanie Frey at (970) 668-3975" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 2.5 and up

Summit-Lake Dillon Optimists

Where: County-wide

Contact: Marie Orlin at (970) 468-0362" target="_blank">Text">

All ages

Teen Drop-In: Mountain Mentors

Where: Frisco

Contact: Shawna Lane at (970) 668-9182" target="_blank">Text">

Ages 12-18

The Cycle Effect

Where: County-wide

Contact: Jaime Brede at (970) 401-1102" target="_blank">Text">

Grades 8-12

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 If you would like to add your organization to this list or correct information about your program, contact Annie Markuson at

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

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