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Class is back in session, and so is our life-changing after-school programming – even bigger and better than before.


Thanks to an expanded 21st Century grant funding – procured in partnership with School District 51 – we were able to open new sites at Chatfield, Chipeta, Nisley, and Pear Park elementary schools. Along with the Clifton Elementary site that opened last spring, this brings our total participating schools to 15 and increases our potential capacity to 700 students. That’s 700 kids and families impacted by access to high-quality homework help, enrichment activities to build social-emotional learning, and access to local support services. It’s nothing short of amazing!

REC’s offices have been buzzing with excitement and activity as our staff prepares for another year of excellent offerings. All this growth has brought many new members to our team, from all over the state and country. They come from a variety of backgrounds, united by a shared passion to better our community through education. We can’t wait to see the ways their experience and talent enrich our programming and the lives of our students. Please take a minute to “meet” these new members of the REC team at



Kids give me so much joy, and I want to be able to give the same joy back to them… I love working with other people who share my values and excitement for education!


Emily Hypnarowski

After-School Program Manager 
Now, as we have the chance to serve more kids than ever, your donation means more than ever. As you are able, please consider supporting the good and necessary work our organization is doing. You can also help by spreading the word that we are hiring for several positions and welcoming new volunteers. THANK YOU! 
A New Home for Riverside Educational Center

As many of you know, REC was COVID-displaced during the 2020-2021 school year as School District 51 restricted access to our offices at the Riverside School in response to public health recommendations.  We were fortunate to have a generous REC supporter step up and provided us with space for offices and storage at 1101 Winters Avenue!


The additional space at this location rapidly proved indispensable, allowing us space to safely store our equipment, providing office space for site managers to plan programming, and contributing sorely needed space to prepare snack for over 400 students. 

We quickly realized we needed a similar space as a permanent home.  The warehouse space next door was available and our generous supporter took on the project of setting it up to fit REC's purposes.  Construction is still in process but every week is like Christmas as more and more space becomes useable!


REC is considering a capital campaign to purchase this space, as it currently appears to be the most economical option for what the organization needs. This is especially true with rapidly rising costs for commercial real estate and new construction. While these conversations are preliminary, they are an important part of securing REC’s future.


We are looking forward to showing off our new space during our twelfth annual Taste of Riverside on October 9th!  If you are not already signed up to attend Taste of Riverside, use the button below for sponsorships.  We hope to see you there!

Middle Schoolers Become Citizen Scientists
through a Monumental New Partnership

Working in partnership with Colorado National Monument (CNM), REC is thrilled to launch Greening STEM Initiative, a new program offering exciting opportunities for hands-on environmental education on our own public lands. 


Engaging activities will teach middle-schoolers to collect and analyze real data to help the researchers and staff at CNM. Through this community-based learning model, REC students will become environmental stewards and problem solvers as they develop skills in leadership, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The program also addresses inequity in outdoor spaces and opportunities, a priority for both REC and CNM.


Funded by a grant through the National Environmental Education Foundation, this program is another great example of how our organization, through collaboration with local partners, is able to offer our students innovative opportunities for academic, social, and personal growth.


Greening STEM Initiative kicks off this fall, and students will present their projects and outcomes in the spring. Stay tuned, and visit

for more information!

Big thanks to Jeff Burke and Craig and Joanna Little of Code Ninjas for sponsoring REC bus #8! By sponsoring this bus, Code Ninjas helps REC maintain and grow our transportation fleet, so that more kids can safely get to and from REC activities and programming. 

Code Ninjas teaches kids to code, using a system of “belts,” awarded as new skills are learned and benchmarks are met. Think of Code Ninjas as a karate dojo for computer coding. 

Serving kids from ages 7-17, Code Ninjas utilizes proprietary, self-paced curricula that teaches coding in three languages. CMU computer science majors serve as mentors and all learning is in-person at the Maverick Innovation Center on the CMU campus. Code Ninjas offers year-round classes and summer camps. For more information please call 970-822-7118 or visit


Are you interested in sponsoring a REC bus? Each REC bus travels more than 3,500 miles per year, year-round. Sponsoring a bus provides a high-visibility advertising option for businesses and organizations, with the added bonus of helping REC provide an essential service to those kids who need it most.


Please contact Kristen Lummis at if you’re interested in sponsoring a REC bus. Thanks! 

Thank You to Our Donors
(July 1st through August 27th, 2021)
Businesses and Foundations
Peach Fork Pickers
Redlands Rotary Foundation
Theresa Ahern
Edgar Corona
Crystal Garcia
Gail Howe
Shannon Keel
Kathryn Knayci
Shirley Porter
Mitchell Rewold
Treasa Smith
Mary and Ken Thom
Please enjoy our video
The Story of REC
"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it."
                                                                             - Marian Wright Edelman

Thank you for being a part of REC's Family and helping us impact our community!

Contact Information:

Joy Hudak, Executive Director
Phone: 970-589-5039



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