While most schools in the Roaring Fork Valley, and the country, had Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork was in session.
“Today we are choosing to intentionally hold school, because we wanted to bring all of our students, community and teachers together in order to take active engagement around Martin Luther King Jr. and equality in our country,” explained Liesl Bellack, marketing and communications coordinator at the school.
Students from all grades explored different aspects of activism, civil rights and diversity. In elementary school, seeds were planted to better facilitate the conversations that will take place in middle school. For example, second graders focused on the idea of “good trouble,” a phrase used by the late Congressman John Lewis.
“It’s the idea that there is trouble that is good when you are standing up for something that is right, even though it may be going against what the norms are, or sometimes even what the formal rules or laws are,” explained Bellack.
Each student across the grades traced their own hand to decorate with their wishes, desires for their community or how they can cause good trouble. Then, “All the hands were brought together for a collective community work of art,” said Bellack. Photo by Will Sardinsky
In addition to the stories, biographies and work of civil rights leaders, students engage year-round in community service projects that make a local impact, including work with Lift-Up, the Family Resource Center and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers.
“There’s intentionality to it,” Bellack concluded. “We don’t see that the work falls on anyone else besides ourselves to shift the narratives that these children are exposed to.”