Calvert Families Write Letters of Gratitude, Donate Canned Goods for MLK Jr. Week

Calvert families collected 64 boxes of nonperishable food and wrote more than 100 letters of gratitude last week as the School celebrated the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Organized by teachers Sean Donmoyer, Lori Wlodarczyk, and Sandry Sachar, the MLK Jr. Week of Community Engagement spanned January 19-22 and replaced Calvert’s annual day of service.
With in-person service events cancelled, the four-day food drive and letter-writing campaign provided a safe opportunity for Calvert families to give back to our community.
“I have such a strong desire to help others around me, especially during the tough times of COVID-19,” Piper H. ’21 said. “This food drive and letter-writing campaign gave my classmates and me an opportunity to help Baltimore citizens in need and make a powerful impact. Watching so many of my peers chip in made me proud of my Calvert community.”
All donations to the food drive will benefit the Maryland Food Bank, a non-profit organization that helps feed food-insecure Marylanders, while letters of gratitude were delivered to University of Maryland Medical System staff, Operation Gratitude, Support our Troops, and residents of Keswick Multi-Care Center.
“Volunteering gave me a feeling of happiness and responsibility,” Kiera C. ’21 said. “I loved seeing the kind and peppy letters that students wrote to healthcare workers and U.S. Troops who work so hard for others and dedicate their careers to service.”
In a virtual assembly on Friday, January 15, students learned more about Dr. King’s message of equality, including the modern-day activists who have continued to fight in his stead.
During the presentation, hosted by Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Timika Tyson, Middle Schoolers Olivia D. ’24, Thomas R. ’21, and Kiera C. ’21 described the efforts of the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader and politician who protested racial segregation with Dr. King.
Congressman Lewis, who died in July 2020, led the first of three marches from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery, during which protestors were brutally beaten while attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Arrested more than 40 times during the Civil Rights Movement, the late congressman is known for his history of dedicated nonviolent protest and “good trouble.”
The students also spoke about voting rights activist Stacey Abrams and her work to empower voters in Georgia, which contributed to flipping Georgia in the 2020 presidential election.
During the assembly, which also featured a Glee Club performance of “Imagine” and a video essay by Julia N. ’21, Head Master Andrew Holmgren shared his thoughts on Dr. King’s legacy, reminding students that it’s important to persevere in difficult times.
“The people in this world who are kind and courageous, the ones who stand on the side of good, the ones who do not give up and keep marching forward, these are the people who change the world,” Mr. Holmgren said. “These are the people that we remember and we celebrate, just as we remember and celebrate Dr. King.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in the MLK Jr. Week of Community Engagement!
Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.