SNAP! a success | AspenTimes.com

SNAP! a success

Within our Aspen community there exists a volunteer parent group known as SNAP! (Schools Need Active Parents!). This group is working to create after-school programs that address the needs of the school community.

SNAP!’s mission is to enhance and support the Aspen School District’s curriculum and social environment by developing programs that utilize the resources of the Aspen community directly in the schools.

To date, SNAP! has collaborated with many of Aspen’s greatest resources in developing after-school programs for students in the Aspen Elementary and Aspen Middle schools.

The organizations involved in developing these enriching programs include the Aspen Art Museum, The Junior Great Books Program from The Aspen Institute, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Wyly Community Art Center, Aspen School of Theatre Arts at Aspen Theatre in the Park, Jazz Aspen-Snowmass, Aspen Filmfest, The Science Outreach Center, and the Media Empowerment Project.

SNAP! members contacted these and other organizations prior to the school year regarding offering after-school programs. We then met with Griff Smith, Aspen Middle School Principal, and Barb Pitchford, Aspen Elementary School Principal, and made arrangements to provide on-campus facilities in which to hold the classes.

Likewise, an extensive registration packet was created and sent home before the beginning of the school year. SNAP! has worked closely with these organizations to ensure that in most cases the fee for a class does not exceed $50, and SNAP! underwrites scholarships when necessary. Generally, a class will meet one or two times a week after school for tow hours, and the entire session will run between four and eight weeks.

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SNAP! has also created and organized a chess club in both schools. With over 60 kids enrolled in both semesters it became necessary to find a coach and tutor. Aspen High School’s Mark Levin was hired to help coach and tutor the students.

May 31 marks the end of the 2001-2002 school year and our inaugural year as volunteer after-school program coordinators. We look forward to next year with great enthusiasm and continued community support.

Nearly 160 students have taken advantage of this opportunity to experience exceptional after-school instruction in music, dance, art, chess, science, media, and literature.

SNAP! would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making this program possible.

First, without the commitment and the efforts of the nonprofit organizations this would not have happened. Thanks to Kat Parkin at the Aspen Art Museum; Marisa Post at Aspen Theatre in the Park; Lauren Johnson at The Aspen Institute; Susan Casebeer and Sherri Kuecker at Anderson Ranch Arts Center; Deb Jones at Wyly Community Art Center; Alec Raffin and Steve Kaufman at the Media Empowerment Project; Kimi Bensen at Aspen Filmfest; Marc Breslin, Katie Lempert and Chris Banks at Jazz Aspen-Snowmass; Deborah Barnekow at the Aspen Music Festival and School; and Linda Froning and Cammi Humphries at the Science Outreach Center.

Second, we’d like to thank Griff Smith, Cheryl Cumnock, Annie Sutherland, Georgina Rumsey, and Marti Cyrus at the Aspen Middle School. Cheryl and Annie were extremely important in the success of this program. They helped register the students, collect their money and report to SNAP! daily with updates.

Thanks to Barb Pitchford, Doreen Goldyn, Karen Price, Kim Bohlsen, Carole Stewart, and Wendy McPhail at the Aspen Elementary School. Also, thanks to Liz Waters and Mark Levin at the Aspen High School. You all contributed greatly. Thank you.

Donna DiIanni, Lisa Lambert, Laurie Michaels, Carrie Morgridge, Nancy Paley, Gretchen Robinson