There were exactly 51 of them, all strewn about the base area like tumbleweed after a windstorm. Some were lying down, some were struggling to stand, some were slowly sliding across the frozen floor, and some were actually doing what they came to learn how to do: ski and snowboard.
The kids were all fifth grade students at the Laredo School in east Aurora, CO, which serves a diverse neighborhood of Colorado families. Some of the kids had been to the mountains before, none of them had ever skied nor snowboarded. Luckily, this year these kids had Ms. Amy Scheuers as their teacher.
This undertaking of bringing 51 fifth graders to Ski Granby Ranch for a day of learning to ski and snowboard was her idea. I put together the ski and snowboarding trip because I wanted to give our students an opportunity to experience the mountains instead of just seeing them from our school, explained Scheuers.
Scheuers teaches fifth grade at the Laredo School and took it upon herself to give her students an experience theyd never forget. Many of our kids have not been up in the mountains and this was their first time. They are Colorado residents and I believe they should have the opportunity to see the beauty of our state.
She orchestrated signing up each student for the Colorado Ski Country USA Fifth Grade Passport, a lift ticket program whereby all fifth graders in Colorado can receive free lift access to 20 resorts. The Ski Country Passport was introduced nearly 20 years ago and provides three visits to 20 member resorts for free. We started the program because we believe that every child growing up in Colorado should have access to learning our states signature sports of skiing and snowboarding, explained Melanie Mills, CEO and President of Colorado Ski Country USA.
Every year thousands of Colorado kids take advantage of the CSCUSA Fifth Grade Passport, but resorts wanted to do more to introduce the sports to new participants, and so CSCUSA introduced First Class. First Class works in conjunction with the Fifth Grade Passport and provides a beginner lesson to kids who have never skied nor snowboarded, during the month of January, which is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. So now, CSCUSA resorts are providing lift access and a lesson with rental equipment, and this is exactly what Ms. Scheuers arranged with the hosting resort, Ski Granby Ranch.
Armed with their Fifth Grade Passports, First Class Lesson and Equipment Vouchers, the Laredo class boarded a bus afforded to them through a grant Ms. Scheuers secured, and off they went to Ski Granby Ranch for a day of lessons, lunch and laughter.
It was awesome and fun, Dyelon, Laredo fifth grader and new snowboarder.
It was extremely exciting to give these kids an opportunity to get on the snow, commented Michael McDonald, Ski Granby Ranch ski instructor. The students were so kind, polite, and a joy to teach. Getting to hang out with kids who have never skied or snowboarded before are the reason I love teaching. They were a blast!
They were successful at picking up the basics of skiing and snowboarding and enjoyed a good first day on the slopes.
It was awesome, said Kimberly, a Laredo fifth grader and new skier.
It was fun and I had a great time going and it was fun snowboarding with my friends and somebody teaching us how to snowboard, said Victor, a Laredo fifth grader and new snowboarder.
It is Colorado Ski Countrys hope that the Passport and First Class programs give kids the opportunity to not only try skiing and snowboarding, but that they will like it enough to keep doing it while reaping the benefits of being outside and active.
I think that the ski trip gave me a good opportunity to learn how to ski and make me want to go outside more, Alyssa, Laredo fifth grader and new skier.
I felt like the ski trip was awesome and it helped me. Because of that time we went on the ski trip my mom wants to take us again, Arleen, Laredo fifth grader and new skier.