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Fundraising to help West Elem. students afford after-school environmental program

       A fundraising effort is under way to provide scholarships so that children in grades 3-5 at West Elementary can sign up for an after-school environmental program offered by the Catamount Institute.
       Sharon Reuth, a retired West preschool teacher who still works as a substitute, hopes to lead the program, which is an element of Catamount's YES (young environmental stewards) Club called Aeroecology. The children would learn about flying organisms (from birds to germs) and how they depend on the Earth's atmosphere.
       Reuth said the cost is about $250 per student, and she needs to raise enough funds for about 10 students to make the program happen. She said she is fundraising because a large number of West students come from low-income families and can't afford the program without assistance.
       The Catamount Institute is a nonprofit environmental organization headquartered next to Sondermann Park in the Mesa Springs area of the Westside. But the program for West would be run at the school, Reuth said.
       A Catamount flyer states: “YES combines environmental science, field trips, guest speakers, community service and leadership in one fun and active program that will get students outside, excited about science and engaged in real research.” There is also a collaboration with Colorado College.
       Reuth said her scholarship deadline is mid-January. The YES program is scheduled to start in the third week of that month. It would continue through April (meeting once a week).
       Anyone wanting to donate is asked to contact the Catamount Institute at 471-0910 or info@catamountinstitute.org. For additional information, call Reuth at 481-2775.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 12/11/14; Schools: West Elementary)

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