‘Sliding and gliding’ with CRMS preschoolers | AspenTimes.com

‘Sliding and gliding’ with CRMS preschoolers

Contributed report
Photos by Shannon Price
Aspen, CO Colorado

The Children’s Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, a nonprofit, early-childhood education program located on the Colorado Rocky Mountain School campus in Carbondale, turns 20 years old this year. Since its first days as a preschool, when it was under the auspices of the CRMS high school, founder Debbie Candello has organized cross country skiing trips for the children to introduce them to the sport.

“We emulated a lot of things the high school was doing back then,” says Candello, noting the high school has always had a strong outdoor focus. “Part of our goal at the preschool is stewardship of the land, and cross country skiing is educational and advances our environmental slant of the preschool program.”

Before tackling the tracks and an obstacle course designed by teachers Thae Dunn and Heather Craven, the children get the feeling of cross-country skiing at the preschool, practicing with their skis on wax paper to get the idea of “slide and glide.”

“It is wonderful for the children to be outdoors, learning about the land,” she says. “The kids really learn more when doing it than hearing about it. When they are there, they are seeing and learning about animal tracks, the sport, they learn independence and develop self confidence. It broadens their love of the environment and the earth ” and besides, it’s fun!”

More outdoor fun is planned for the children of the preschool and the entire valley when CRMS Preschool and Sunlight Mountain host the first annual Snow Festival for Children on Sunday, March 22.

The day will begin at 8 a.m. and include activities for children and their families including a cross-country ski race, uphill race, snowmobile rides, downhill ski race, kids’ terrain park competition and an ecologic presentation by Gore Range.

For more information on the Snow Festival or the Children’s Rocky Mountain School, call 963-2524.

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