After-school program expands |

After-school program expands

City to use new Soda Creek school beginning in December

Zach Fridell

Jennifer Travis, youth services coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs, passes out a snack Thursday to second-grader Anna Nell at the Igloo, on Howelsen Parkway, where after-school programs now take place.

— The after-school program for students in Steamboat Springs is filled to capacity, with as many as 50 students per day at its peak, city Youth Services Coordinator Jennifer Travis said Thursday.

The new Soda Creek Elementary School will enable the program potentially to house 10 to 20 more students when the program moves to the new building in December. After-school activities now are housed in the Igloo on Howelsen Parkway, with an average of 44 students in the after-school program and about 50 students attending on days without school.

“We’re running at maximum capacity,” Travis said.

Despite the cramped quarters and high demand, Travis said the program could not move into the new Soda Creek building until the beginning of December.

“We’re obviously not trying to get in there too quickly. It’s their building, and we don’t want to put the pressure on them too much, but we do want to get in there,” she said. “We’re kind of letting the dust settle at the school before we move too quickly.”

The after-school program was allocated a room for storage and offices in the new building, and school principal Judy Harris said she, too, was eager to get the program moved in.

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“We’re just really happy to have them here and have a wonderful, safe place, and to share this beautiful building with as many kids as possible,” she said.

Students began class in the new building Oct. 6.

The after-school program, held every weekday for kindergartners to fifth-graders, will be housed in the gym and the commons area of the school.

The program costs $10 per day of after-school activities and $30 per day for all-day programs on days when there is no school.

In a usual day, students will have three or four activities to choose from after school, including indoor and outdoor activities. Travis said the program has four to six staff members each day, and that number might expand when programs begin at Soda Creek.

“It will be something a little bit new and different for our programs,” she said.

When the new building is occupied, students from Strawberry Park Elementary School will be bused to Soda Creek after school.

The after-school program also expanded at the beginning of this school year to include students from the Lowell Whiteman Primary School, which sends three or four students to the program every day.

Other programs offered through Travis’ office include a learn-to-skate program, with three-week skateboarding courses for $100.

The city originally planned to move into the new building in January of next year.