January is a time for hope

There’s something inherently hopeful about beginnings. Each January brings with it new beginnings and new hope. After all, isn’t that what’s behind our post-Winter Break diets, revamped workout routines, and New Year’s resolutions? This January, as our world is united in waiting for the vaccines that promise protection and freedom from the pandemic, it occurs to me that hope is also a vaccine—one that provides protection and freedom from discouragement and despair.

How we get through the long, dark winter

In the past few weeks, I have read numerous articles that predict a “long, dark winter,” even as we all feel like there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. The way we can get through such a winter is by doubling down on the things that give us hope—goodness, beauty, truth, love, family, friends, faith, community. We are privileged to be a part of a school community that supports each other.

Whether it’s expressing appreciation for our Colorado Academy faculty and staff through Cookie Fest (which parent volunteers Brooke Beasley and Robin Cook pulled off before Winter Break, with help from Gateaux Bakery and some of our CA student artists), or providing assistance to families experiencing COVID-related financial challenges through CA Cares, our community has given and grown through it all. Before the pandemic, I thought of our community’s generosity as a well that could go dry if we drew from it too much. I realize now that it’s more like a muscle that gets stronger the more it is used.

We are also privileged to have school leadership that is not afraid to do the hard work of leading, while keeping the good of our community as top priority. Surrounded by uncertainty and adversity, they’ve persevered and kept doing the next “right thing.” We know many of the challenges that they have guided us through, but we will probably never know all the challenges that they’ve helped us avoid through their steady leadership.

‘Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.’ – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Another thing that January brings with it is the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Whether we take part in a public commemoration of what Dr. King stood for, or find a personal way of honoring his legacy, we can remember the hope that fueled his life work. We can only envision a better world if we hang on to hope.

We can give each other hope

Sometimes, as parents, we feel that we have to be strong all of the time for our children’s sake. As a community, however, none of us has to be strong all of the time, because we have each other. We can choose to give each other hope and support each other through challenging times. If you would like to do that through the Parent Association, we would welcome your participation. We are currently in the nominating process for next year’s PA officers, so please nominate the parents you think would do a great job for our school (including yourself, if you are interested).

We will also launch new PA programs in the new year to support the diversity and inclusivity efforts of our school, to support the mental health of our community, and to better integrate our new families into our school community. If any of these efforts resonate with your interests, please join us. We know you have good ideas, and we want to hear your voices—some of our favorite PA events and activities have come from parent ideas that we’ve worked together to bring to life.

If you know a gardener (or if you are a gardener yourself), you know that this is the time of year when gardeners hunker down and pore over their seed catalogs as they dream and plan for the gardens that emerge when winter ends. Let’s hang onto hope and to each other, as we dream and plan for the end of this winter.