Vail students honor King with service |

Vail students honor King with service

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyParent Susanne Johnson and grandparent Tricia Smith help first-graders Lexi Farquhar, Emily Gish, Julia Shay and Beck Sapp bake cookies for those promoting peace at Vail Mountain School. "Starting in our immediate school community helps to connect the students with those they are serving and provides numerous learning opportunities," said first-grade teacher Kara Robinson.

VAIL, Colorado – After honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by hosting a class fundraiser to benefit Operation Smile, one Vail Mountain School third-grader confidently announced, “I think Dr. King would be proud!”

The 8- and 9-year-olds transformed their classroom into a dentist’s office yesterday and invited the school community to stop by and check brushing effectiveness and take home a brand new toothbrush. Donations of $1 were encouraged, and the class raised $233.34 toward their goal of $250 to provide a cleft lip or palate surgery for one deserving child who would not otherwise be able to afford the surgery.

Each year, Vail Mountain School honors Martin Luther King, Jr. by “taking the day on.” As Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King implored, “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service.”

Students in grades kindergarten through 12 participated in service activities at the school and in their local communities. While inclement weather prevented groups from driving to Denver as originally planned, students were scattered from as far east as Summit County and all the way to Gypsum, lending a hand at various organizations that benefit local communities.

On campus, kindergartners and seventh-graders collaborated to make dog blankets for the Humane Society. First-graders, who have been studying peacemakers, made cookies to thank groups within the school who promote peace.

Second-graders baked cookies and made “thank you” cards for the Vail Ski Patrol and Yellow Jackets, acknowledging their efforts to keep our mountain safe.

Fourth-graders created posters to promote a toiletry drive for Jack’s Place, A Caring House in Edwards.

Fifth-graders worked with Food Rescue Express, an organization that provides meals over the weekend for local children on the Federal Lunch Program.

Sixth-graders learned about Operation Smile and created cards for “Smile Bags,” which are given to children after they receive cleft lip or palate surgery.

Eighth-graders discussed “need” in our valley and researched several nonprofits to kick off their annual service action projects, which will benefit local organizations this spring.

Some upper school students prepared meals for the local police and fire departments.

Off campus, upper school students and faculty volunteered for the Summit Senior Center, Summit Thrift and Treasure, Family Intercultural Resource Center in Summit County, McCoy Senior Center, Family Learning Center, the Thrift Stores in Edwards and Eagle, Habitat for Humanity, Habitat Home Outlet, Children’s Garden of Learning, Vail Library, Mountain and Eagle Montessori Schools, the Youth Foundation and the Snowboard Outreach Society.

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