Vail Valley students celebrate King’s legacy
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Sleeping in on Martin Luther King Jr. day was not on the agenda for Craig Tietbohl, a 10th-grader at Vail Mountain School.
Instead, he participated in community service at The Youth Foundation in Edwards.
Taking a break from researching relief efforts for Haiti earthquake victims, Tietbohl said he and his classmates hope to set a trend. Rather than taking Martin Luther King Day off, they take the day “on.”
“We took the initiative to do community service every year and we hope other people will follow, so we can really help and learn from Martin Luther King,” he said.
From cleaning backcountry huts to cooking lunch for firemen, students from Vail Mountain School in East Vail spent Monday giving back to the community at various organizations throughout the Vail Valley, said Ryan Aldrich, the school’s director of college counseling.
Students at the school have been spending Martin Luther King Jr. Day doing community service since 1986.
At the Youth Foundation, students shoveled snow, prepared lesson plans for a kindergarten readiness program and played basketball to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims. Youth Foundation Executive Director Susie Davis donated $1 for each basket the kids made.
Davis said King’s message went beyond the war on poverty and eliminating racial discrimination; he also stressed improving the community.
“He was not a patient man,” she said. “He believed we can’t spend time philosophizing. We need to take action.”
Apparently Martin Luther King Jr. isn’t the only one with a dream.
“I have a dream for animal cruelty to stop and for people to quit smoking,” second grader Alex Carey said Monday during an assembly at the Eagle County Charter Academy in Edwards.
“I have a dream that everyone could have a water-powered car,” second-grader T.J. Guercio said.
Kindergartners through fourth-graders at the charter school participated Monday in an assembly on Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.
From reading poems to singing songs, they learned about King’s message of peace. After watching a video on King’s childhood, students contemplated the struggles he faced.
“He couldn’t play with his white friends,” one student observed.
“Do you think that’s fair?” Assistant Principal Sue Dressler asked the group.
“No!” the students cried.
“It’s just skin,” one child added.
As students grow up, Dressler said she hopes they’ll remember a lesson from the assembly: Don’t pass judgment on others.
Fourth-grader Mollie McCoy said she learned a lot about King.
“I learned that he did some special things and he was really smart and he really was a good student,” she said.
Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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