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Environmental science grows at Crystal River Elementary School

Students from Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale participate in the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies' program at Rock Bottom Ranch last school year. The program has been expanded to a full-time offering at CRES this year, including weekly, one-hour environmental science classes for kindergarten through fourth grade.

Students from Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale participate in the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies' program at Rock Bottom Ranch last school year. The program has been expanded to a full-time offering at CRES this year, including weekly, one-hour environmental science classes for kindergarten through fourth grade.

CARBONDALE — The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) and Crystal River Elementary School (CRES) have partnered to bring full-time, in-school environmental science education programming to all CRES students, kindergarten through fourth grade.

CRES students will now attend a weekly, one-hour science class as one of their “specials.” The expanded program will also include two or three field trips per year to ACES’ Rock Bottom Ranch and Hallam Lake sites, or Aspen Mountain.

Just last year, ACES expanded its nationally acclaimed science program to Basalt Elementary School (BES), providing a five-fold increase in environmental science programming at BES.

ACES has provided full-time, curriculum-integrated science education at Aspen Elementary School for 36 years and provides environmental science education programs and field trips for more than 42 schools in the region.

“Having ACES full time at CRES was the unanimous goal for staff, administrators, parents, and students,” said new CRES Principal Heather Cremeans. “We are thrilled to move forward with this collaboration and look forward to seeing the impact it has on the students at CRES.”

Added ACES director and CEO, Chris Lane, “Research has proven that students engaged in environmental science education develop increased enthusiasm for learning and improved performance on standardized tests.

“Access to nature contributes to the health and well-being of young people in our community and helps to form a foundation for the development of responsible environmental behavior,” he said.

Whole Foods Market Roaring Fork is again helping to support ACES’ Children’s Education Fund, which funds all of ACES’ environmental science programming.