Skiing comes back to the classroom |

Skiing comes back to the classroom

Christine Ina Casillas
Avon resident and extreme skier Chris Anthony will visit Vail schools in the next few weeks to get fifth-graders involved and pumped up about skiing.

Skiing for fifth-graders has come back to the classroom.

Fifth-graders will have a chance to chat with extreme local skier Chris Anthony when he visit their classrooms this fall.

Anthony will be visiting schools throughout the state as part of the fifth-grade Passport Program, sponsored by Colorado Ski Country USA. Anthony’s first visit was at Silt Elementary School, Oct. 23. Anthony will visit Vail Mountain School and Edwards Elementary School within the next few weeks, but the times and dates are pending.

Anthony began promoting the program about five years ago, introducing skiing to younger kids and keeping them in the sport, Anthony said.

“There’s a few kids who were in the program when I started and now they’re near driving age,” Anthony said. “And they’re all still skiing and staying in the sport.”

The program allows fifth-graders to ski for free three times each at 25 Colorado resorts. But the 10- and 11-year-old kids cannot ski without an adult, he said.

But Anthony’s job is to prepare and pump up the kids about skiing, the challenges they’ll face and the traveling the world, he said.

“We talk about setting goals and working hard,” he said. “The reward for working hard is traveling.”

Anthony begins his visit by using footage from Warren Miller films, showing action and travel scenes to get the kids’ attention.

“Sometimes we can get submerged in different cultures,” he said.

During his school visits, he shows films of his trips to place like Peru and Italy and talking to the students about different cultures, architecture and animals.

Anthony had spent time showing adults the same film footage and talking about skiing. But when Colorado Ski Country’s Sue Baldwin asked him to join the program, he agreed.

“I spoke with the adults so much that when I got to the kids I felt at home and it made a huge impact on me,” he said. “The kids love it. The teachers love it, as well.”

Anthony said he was impressed with the intelligence of the kids at such a young age.

“I am completely amazed at how curious the kids are and how educated they are in the fifth grade,” he said.

When Anthony was in Denver last year on one of his visits, he spoke to a classroom where a majority of the students had never been on a plane.

One of the little girls asked about a foreign country and another girl pulled down the atlas, pointed straight to it.

“I didn’t even know where it was until I actually went there myself,” he said. “I know visits like this definitely got me into skiing.”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at

Support Local Journalism