Parents get night out on town

Program offers chance to leave kids with sitters

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— Parents can leave the kids behind Wednesday night.

Students at Steamboat Springs High School would like to treat parents to an inexpensive evening out on the town without their children.

"Parent's Night Out" provides moms and dads with babysitting services from 6 to 9 p.m. at the high school and games, movies and pizza for the kids.

Students are charging $10 per child and $8 for additional siblings.

Children from kindergarten through eighth grade are welcome.

All proceeds go toward nonprofit organizations in the community. The teenagers hope to serve their community by giving parents an affordable opportunity to catch a movie, dine out or do some Christmas shopping.

They also need to raise $500 by Feb. 21 to receive a $9,500 matching grant from the El Pomar Foundation.

Several high school students participate in El Pomar Youth in Community Service.

The program, established in 1991, affords young people the opportunity to improve others' quality of life.

High school students decide where to allocate the money they raise and receive from the El Pomar Foundation.

"The students run the show," said Lucianne Myhre, the leadership teacher at Steamboat Springs High School.

Routt County United Way Director Millie Beall advises the students.

Myhre said the program is in its third year in Steamboat.

Nonprofit organizations are eligible for program dollars. The students determine which nonprofits merit funding.

It's a unique opportunity for the youth of the community who traditionally don't have a say in how money is spent.

Junior Daniel Barney said he and his peers bring a different perspective to the table.

"We : are able to see things from a different point of view," he said.

The high school students crafted a mission statement that will guide their decision making.

Barney said the mission statement emphasizes health and human services. But the students will fund the nonprofits that most deserve their assistance, he added.

The El Pomar Foundation collaborates with 121 high schools in Colorado. These mini foundations represent about 109,000 students.

Participants survey their peers to determine which issues best address the critical concerns of their student body.

El Pomar Youth in Community Service exposes students to the nonprofit sector, philanthropy and the rewards that come from community service.

High school students gain valuable leadership experience as they make decisions that directly impact their communities.

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