Dear LMSD Families,
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to hold our annual MLK Afternoon of Service in person this year, but that is not stopping our school community from creatively fulfilling Dr. King's decree, "Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve." One of the pathways of our Strategic Plan, "All Forward," emphasizes LMSD's "Spirit of Community." I am proud of the many ways our students, families and staff are engaging in safe, socially distant community service to honor Dr. King's legacy.
Students from Merion Elementary, Cynwyd Elementary and Penn Valley Elementary are collecting children's books that will be donated to BookSmiles.org and to Global Citizen, the organization that coordinates the region's MLK Day of Service. Global Citizen will distribute the books to children whose families attend the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium testing event at Girard College on Monday.
Students from Gladwyne Elementary are writing letters for "Letters Against Isolation" to ease the loneliness of seniors who are isolated due to COVID-19. And students from buildOn at Welsh Valley Middle School are collecting snacks for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their children receive medical treatment in Philadelphia.
Students from Penn Wynne Elementary School are creating cards to be distributed by the Maternity Care Coalition, while the Penn Wynne staff is holding a food drive to benefit the Ardmore Food Pantry.
Some 300 students from buildOn at Lower Merion High School are volunteering for a number of projects, including leading teen panel discussions on "Race, Reflection and Response" and "Open Heart Processing" in conjunction with members of local congregation Beth Am Israel. Students from Harriton High School are running a food drive for the Ardmore Food Pantry and a toiletry drive for clients served by Project Home. The high school students will also be engaging in at-home projects including creating dog toys for PAWS and PSPCA; sewing eco-friendly cloth face masks; and writing letters to lawmakers about climate change, Valentines for senior citizens and welcome letters to new immigrants.
In addition to these efforts by staff, students and their families, the Lower Merion Board of School Directors' Ad Hoc Committee on Equity and Anti-Racism continues its work to ensure that LMSD respects, serves and uplifts every student and staff member. The Board President is also working to support the Narberth Community Food Bank's efforts to secure a Montgomery County Office of Housing and Community Development for the Continuum of Care grant and has committed to working with NCFB to further serve those in need in our larger community.
In a time of many divisions in our land, all of these efforts provide a model of working toward the common good, of which I am very proud. I hope you enjoy the long weekend ahead and encourage you to honor Dr. King in a way that is meaningful to you.