TELLURIDE – In May, Telluride Intermediate School student Jake Greene camped out at the Colorado National Monument, learning about its incredible geography and history of the area and hiking through the National Park. Jake was not on a family outing, but with his entire 4th grade class, enjoying an experiential education overnight trip, made possible by We R-1.
We R-1 is the result of two education-focused organizations – the Telluride Education Foundation and the Telluride Parent/Teacher/Student Organization –merging to create one united organization supporting education in Telluride.
Striving to expand and enrich academic, artistic and leadership opportunities for students, and to reward and recognize teachers, We R-1’s efforts include experiential education trips, magnet grants for teachers, college scholarships and community events.
We R-1 kicks off its first big community event Friday, Oct. 25, 3:30-6 p.m., with the Fall Harvest Festival at the Telluride Elementary School gym. Kids can enjoy games, a cakewalk, Scare Well (a haunted house in a stairwell), pumpkin decorating, a photo booth and more. Food will be served. Admission is free, but tickets are required for the activities.
Upcoming events include a Father-Daughter Dance at the Sheridan Opera House (Jan. 10), a Mother-Son Softball Tournament in the spring, a community-wide science fair and stargazing in conjunction with the Pinhead Institute, Telluride’s Got Talent, cooking classes and an educational speaker series that addresses a variety of topics including health and wellness as well as entrepreneurship. Some events are free and others are fundraisers so We R-1 can continue its valuable work.
Children in every grade, from kindergarten to 12th, will benefit from the special programming and experiential education trips supported by We R-1. Elementary school students have the opportunity to make Jitterbugs with guidance from Pinhead Institute; learn about Native Americans at the Ute Indian Museum; and experience the history of Mesa Verde.
Intermediate students explore the Colorado National Monument and the Denver Museum of Natural History. Middle school students participate in an avalanche awareness program and learn about the watershed through a visit to Bridal Veil Creek; eighth through 11th grade take a team-building trip.
While experiential education trips are a big focus of We R-1, the organization also supports special arts-focused programming such as a “Play in 48.” In just 48 short hours, students of all ages, wrote, directed, produced and acted in a play at the Palm Theatre.
We R-1 also makes possible merit-based college scholarship for seniors who maintain a strong academic standing and exhibit a high level of volunteerism and involvement within the community. Last year the funding from We R-1 enabled two high school seniors to attend their first-choice schools – Jared Balkind to the University of Syracuse and Shelby Brier to Colorado Sate University.
We R-1 is not only focused on students but also on teachers, who are so critical to creating such a stellar educational experience in Telluride. The organization funds teacher magnet grants to cover the costs of continuing education, preschool expenses for teachers with young children, commuting expenses, and a downpayment for first-time homebuyers.
To volunteer or for more information about We R-1, visit Telluridewer1.com or contact Tiffany Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org.