Middle School BASE
HIGHLANDS RANCH -
Summertime for parents of middle school students can be a struggle. “An eleven year-old is at the age where they can’t stay home alone. They really do have to have some type of supervision during the summer months,” explains Ilene Leblanc, mother of an eleven year-old. DCSD’s Before and After School Enterprise program, or BASE, is very valuable to parents of elementary-aged students. There are 48 such programs to choose from in the district. The problem comes after elementary school. “Every year, our parents at the end of the summer, would ask ‘hey, is there somewhere for my 7th grader to go?’” says Clear Sky Elementary’s site manager Sterling Decosta.
In early 2017 Decosta brought it to the attention of the superintendent. The wheels were set in motion. After looking for host sites and sending out interest surveys they were ready to launch. Together with his long-time working partner Mike Leon, Stone Mountain’s BASE site manager, they launched Teen Scene U at Cresthill Middle School in the summer of 2018.
They have had more than 70 students register. A typical day is filled with activities from beginning to end. Sports, cooking, science, art, and field trips keep the kids busy. There is no minimum attendance and the cost is much less than a typical summer camp.
The goal is to expand to more middle schools in the district in the coming years. “She’s having so much fun,” Leblanc says of her daughter Jayden. “Her previous camp she would beg me to pick her up as soon as I could, and here she’s texting me saying ‘don’t pick me up now.” To Decosta and Leon “That’s the biggest kudos you can get.”