Keep the magic alive |

Keep the magic alive

Dear Editor:

After reading Lee Bryant’s letter to the editor (Dec. 5, Aspen Daily News), “Protect a special place,” I felt the need to write to you and put in my two cents on this magical place, the Aspen Community School.

Like Bryant, I have been very fortunate to have lived in this valley for some time and have raised two sons here. Both of my boys were blessed with having graduated from the Aspen Community School, with me as their designated bus driver. I was blessed with heading up to the magic for nine years.

Lee speaks of the winding, dusty road that gets you to the school and the views when one arrives. I’d like to further that description because when one is finally able to reduce from the macro view, to the place itself, the magic remains!

This magic, which is in the place itself, is also and more importantly in the people up there who are teaching our little people. They have vision and they care. I guess magic attracts magic!

I always found the teachers at the Community School taught something a bit different, in a different way that produces something wonderful in the kids who are there. It’s a quality, unknown, but it’s there.

These kids are taught about community and caring and they reflect that with subtlety that one feels when you are around them. They are taught these things by caring people, with a curriculum that builds confidence and educates in a way that produces young people who our community can be very proud of. I found it to be a different approach to educating my sons, albeit not for all, but a fantastic alternative this community needs to have needs to continue to support.

The state has given us a wonderful opportunity to bring this magical place back up to date. It’s unfortunate that the buildings that make up the school are truly no longer able to function as they should. Visually, the existing buildings have added to the magic of the place. They’re almost out of an old fairy tale – unfortunately “old” now is the operative word.

The scale up there has little kids in mind. It is their world and the elves that originally built the place knew it. But the elves forgot about anybody over 4-feet-tall, and if you don’t wear a helmet in many of the classrooms, because of ceiling heights, headaches occur frequently!

It’s time to bring things up to date, and we as a community have this wonderful opportunity. Times are tough, but we need to find a way to match the state funds and retain this little place of magic for our little people and the community. Magic should not be squandered!

Give if you can to the Aspen Community School campus campaign fund. Visit

Ric McClain


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