Letter: Martin Luther King’s legacy

“What are you doing for others?” This question, which Martin Luther King Jr. called “life’s most persistent and urgent question,” inspired the 238 students at Aspen Country Day School during a day of community engagement on Jan. 18. Children and teachers spread out all over town with projects that ranged from cooking for a dinner for the homeless to visiting with seniors at Whitcomb Terrace.

Activities spanned all grades; kindergartners baked dog biscuits for pets awaiting adoption, and eighth-graders met with Vince Savage at the Aspen Homeless Shelter. Seventh-graders spent time preparing for their June service project in the Sacred Valley of Peru with the World Leadership School. This initiative is part of the new “Learn Outside the Bubble” program at Country Day, which seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of global citizenship beyond our small community here in the Roaring Fork Valley. It was an important day of learning for all children and adults on our Castle Creek campus and beyond.

Country Day sincerely thanks members of the community who helped make this special day possible. Savage was generous with his time at the homeless shelter. Allison Daily, director of Pathfinders, explained the organization’s mission to Country Day sixth-graders, then helped coordinate preparations for a dinner for the needy and actually delivered all the food the children made at the kitchens of the McAniff, Caine, Hostetler and Cherry families. Lysa Reed documented the day with photos posted on We also thank Seth Sachson and the entire staff at the Aspen Animal Shelter who welcomed our second-graders.

Third-graders wish to send a special thank-you to Carolyne Heldman and Tom Egan at Aspen Public Radio, who helped them tape a reading of the “I Have a Dream” speech and aired interviews with the children. At the base of the gondola in the morning, third- and sixth-grade classes led a public art event where they asked visitors to share their own dreams of a better world. We thank Mike Kaplan, Carolyn Barabe, Buck Erickson and Matthew Hamilton of Aspen Skiing Co. Sixth-graders also thank the Aspen City Council for the opportunity to speak about their plans during public comment at a council session earlier in the month.

Engaging fully with the community that surrounds us is part of the joy of learning here at Aspen Country Day School. With the help of many partners in the nonprofits, families and local businesses of our valley, we will continue to encourage children to consider their sense of purpose in the world around them and to ask, “What am I doing for others?”

Carolyn Hines