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BASC Program Celebrates 30 Years Serving Families Across District

Two students color together at Apollo Elementary's Rocket Club

On a sunny afternoon at "Rocket Club," second graders Addison and Ameyah enjoy some quiet time coloring together at Apollo Elementary's Before and After School Care (BASC) program. “We love art, lots of art,” they declare. Several students are playing a card game called “Garbage” while others are outside engaged in a game of touch football, climbing on the play structure and sifting for treasures in the sandbox. 

Much like a real business, students apply for, interview for, and perform job responsibilities taking orders, preparing non-caffeinated beverages, delivering orders and organizing the shop. Once they have a beverage (cocoa or lemonade), students are encouraged to get cozy and read a book of their choice.

“My thought process is for them to learn a little of the real working world. We have a meeting after each event to discuss the good and what we could do better. They take inventory and we talk about the menu of what sold, what didn’t, and what we should add for customer demand,” shares BASC Site Coordinator Lisa Carlisle.  

More than just a place for childcare, BASC is a space for exploration, growth and connection. Through a diverse selection of activities, BASC offers students the chance to discover new interests and build friendships. BASC staff serve as positive role models, fostering genuine connections with students through friendly interactions, encouraging words, and a willingness to have fun alongside students – while ensuring safety and guiding students in positive behavior.  

This year, BASC is celebrating its 30th year serving students and families. Starting with School Age Care at Cougar Ridge and Sunset elementary schools in 1993, the program expanded to all elementary schools by 2004 and added break care and Club Connection summer camps.  

In the summer of 2007, BASC piloted “Club-Mid,” summer day camps for middle school youth. This program later transitioned into “!MPACT,” (2010-2020), which included after-school enrichment, break and summer camps for middle school students across the district. 

In 2023, BASC launched the ISD Preschool Academy at Skyline High School. The ISD Preschool Academy prepares early learners for kindergarten and currently operates four classrooms, supporting students ages 3 to 5. Director of Before and After School Care Autumn Fugere explains, “The necessity for high-quality care and experience remains steady, and BASC strives to meet this need while keeping our sights and actions focused on our vision of ‘It’s All About the Kids.’”  

BASC Coordinator Lisa Carlisle with students

In the photo, BASC Site Coordinator Lisa Carlisle pauses for a photo with students at the Apollo Elementary Rocket Club.
 

Quality before and after school care is essential for working families, offering a solution to balancing job commitments and family needs. “Parents entrust their kids with us to keep them safe. And we do a good job of that. But BASC is much more than that,” says BASC Program Support Specialist Katie Lange. “Children only get one childhood, and we are lucky enough to be part of the community where they are experiencing the other half of their school day. BASC is a place for students to play, socialize, engage, learn, and grow. In BASC, kids are encouraged to try new things and to practice skills without any expected outcome. What each kid experiences is uniquely theirs, and we are proud to be a part of it.”  

Meghan Womack, site coordinator at Cedar Trails “Wolf Club” program explains a great advantage of BASC is its location within the school building. BASC team members build strong relationships with teachers and other school staff, further supporting students in their social and emotional growth. The program offers an intentional social environment, where students have a “safe place to make choices, problem solve and make mistakes,” she adds.  

She also explains that autonomy is built into the program – allowing students to choose activities they enjoy. Much of the planned activity is student-driven, building leadership and social skills. “Slime Time, Scavenger Hunt, Taste Testers and ‘Starbucks’” are a few favorites.  
 
On a recent visit to Wolf Club, Womack guided fourth and fifth graders through a special activity just for their age group – decoding clues and solving a mystery in the picture book, “The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery,” by Graeme Base. Students were engaged, collaborating and determined to find the clues they needed to solve the mystery. Womack explains that BASC team members are constantly innovating ways to retain and interest this age group.  
 
The BASC program has positively impacted countless students and families and most remain in the program throughout their elementary school experience. “Our family adores the BASC program!  We are incredibly grateful the children have a safe, fun, and engaging environment to spend time with friends while we are working,” raves parent Breanne Senior.  “The Wolf Club is the highlight of the day, and the girls enjoy all the activities and supportive staff. Strong work! We love you!” 
 
As BASC looks ahead to the next 30 years and beyond, its commitment to its vision – “It's All About the Kids” – remains steadfast. By continuing to prioritize the individual development of each child and staying responsive to the ever-evolving needs of students and families, BASC will continue to be a shining example of excellence in after-school programming for years to come. 

Wolf Club staff member Tonya creates crafts with students.


Above, Tonya helps Cedar Trails students with a craft during Wolf Club.