Warm up to the Community School | AspenTimes.com

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Warm up to the Community School

Dear Editor:

Upon arriving to teach at the Aspen Community School in 1980, I was struck with the incredible dedication of parents and staff. They were dedicated to encourage student risk-taking in search of excellence.

I also was taken with the friendliness and warmth of the people involved with the school. This could not be mistaken for physical warmth, though. I still remember the afternoon when candles for a science experiment were blown out by the cold wind coming through cracks in the logs and windows. Oh, the log building in Woody Creek is unique and has an engaging mystique about it. However, it is a poor structure for housing the wonderful education that takes place there on a daily basis.

Our valley is one that encourages excellence in the arts, music, science, athletics, community service and education. Many of these endeavors are housed in facilities, both public and private, that enhance their work. The Community School is in desperate need of a structure that contributes to education, not one that makes it more difficult. The building is literally falling apart – plumbing, heating and structural integrity are all major concerns.

The Community School has grown and improved over these many years. There is a waiting list for students to enroll in the Aspen School District charter school that is now one of the highest-performing schools in Colorado. The ideals that the school was founded upon still are in place. Ask any former student or parent about their experience, and you will hear heartfelt admiration. However, the wind still comes through the walls.

After three years of effort, the Community School earned a $4.2 million Building Excellent Schools Today grant from the state of Colorado. In order to secure this grant, the school must raise $4.9 million by May 1. It is an ambitious yet, I believe, achievable goal. The grant and matching donations will go toward the development of a modern, green and education-friendly facility that will match an outstanding Community School education. I urge you to support the Aspen Community School in its effort to build a facility worthy of educating its students.

To learn more, please visit ibelieveacs.org

Mark Munger

Teacher, Aspen Middle School