Sharpening skills in the summer |

Sharpening skills in the summer

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyEstefnia Loera, 12, watches teacher Bobby Legaye, 19, flip an egg in cooking class Thursday at the Summer Quest program at Vail Mountain School in East Vail.

VAIL ” In one room, the kids are frying eggs, grilling bread and heating up sausages.

In the next room, kids are topping two split loaves of French bread with cheese, pepperoni and a couple jars of Prego. A few days ago, they were assembling sushi rolls.

In the next room, kids are embroiled in intense games of cards, Monopoly and Connect Four. In another room, kids are learning photography.

It’s elective hour at SummerQuest, a free program at Vail Mountain School for middle school kids in the valley. These activities take the edge off a couple hours of math and English classes these kids take in the morning, which are designed to make sure they keep up their skills in the summer.

“One of the missions is to help these middle schoolers bridge the gap between the two school years, knowing they aren’t all that productive in the summer,” program director Kristen Brock said. “We’re generally working with kids who need a little extra help in school.”

A typical day at SummerQuest begins at 8 a.m. There are two hour-long classes separated by a half hour of recess, and they’re followed by an elective period in which the students choose between photography, cooking, board games and arts and crafts.

About 85 percent of the students at Summer Quest are Hispanic, and many of these students struggle in school because of language barriers.

“If they don’t speak English at home, that could be one reason they’re struggling in school,” Brock said.


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