Community Connection: Sk8 Church rolls into new era
March 16, 2019
Mission Statement: We are a safe and sober refuge that exists to reach the lost, broken and addicted with the love of Jesus, regardless of gender, background, race, or religious affiliation. We exist to see lives changed.
For the uninitiated, Sk8 Church defies classic descriptors. Operating as both an indoor skateboarding park and nondenominational Christian ministry, there's no such thing as an average day on the premises. From spontaneous free-style Christian rap sessions, to a new volunteer painting a twelve foot mural of Jesus — fully decked out in Vans and carrying a skateboard, of course — there are alway fresh sights to see when entering through our doors.
For the initiated, Sk8 Church is known as much for its unconditional love as for its wicked skate ramps. As the mother of a middle school student said "Sk8 Church has literally been an answer to prayer. Our son was having trouble finding a place to 'fit-in’ and then he saw a Sk8 Church float in the parade and his life has been impacted in a beautiful way."
Offering both Christian and nonreligious programming, our weekly schedule includes music-filled worship nights, community dinners, age-specific Christian messaging and after-school programming; all of which are free. Sk8 Church now serves hundreds of Routt County youth and young adults each year, and 2019 will be a time of even more expansion.
Having recently hired a part-time after-school program manager, Sk8 Church aims to reach even greater numbers of youth within the Steamboat community and beyond. This spring, we are now able to provide transportation for middle and high school students to our facility at the end of each school day. As the program continues to grow, we plan to expand our transportation services to Oak Creek and Hayden this fall.
Don't fret if you haven't gotten your kick-flips down yet. The after school program is open to skaters and non-skaters. In addition to two skating areas, our amenities include tutoring sessions, a pool table, pingpong, an entertainment system, and a bottomless buffet of healthy snack options.
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Most importantly, this expansion reinforces our organization's primary goal: to improve the lives of at-risk youth in Routt County. Studies suggest that after school program attendance is associated with improved grades and classroom behavior, as well as lowered rates of substance-use, crime, and violence among students.
Over the past decade, Sk8 Church has built a strong community dedicated to providing a safe, sober space for our county's youth. As a result, we have seen similarly positive trends in our own participants. Additionally, the staff's commitment to forming individualized bonds with our youth allow us to offer support in situations involving substance-use and mental health issues.
Sk8 Church would like to thank the community for its profound love and support. Without our donors, participants and volunteers, this would not be possible. We believe that it is vital youth have access to a supportive, substance-free living environment, and we intend to offer that for years to come. If you have any questions or would like to see our organization for yourself, please feel free to drop in at any time or email email@example.com.
A recent graduate of Carleton College, Madison Chambers serves Sk8 Church through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She was placed in Routt County to aid in efforts combatting the opioid epidemic.