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Inspired by Dr. King

Senior Aidan Kunst is interning with our marketing department this year as a staff writer. He recently reflected on his experience with Day School's "Day of Service" on Martin Luther King Day. Instead of attending regular classes, our Upper School students took to the community to serve at various local non-profit organizations. 

On Monday, January 20th, the Upper School went out into the tri-state area and participated in various community service activities in order to honor the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This Day of Service was put together by the SLC’s (Student Leadership Council) Community Service Committee.

For me, this was a fantastic idea, and it was an excellent way to honor Dr. King’s legacy. It can be hard, as a white male, to fully appreciate the efforts of Dr. King, but his involvement in the Civil Rights movement and his understanding of the fact that violence is not the answer to oppression truly moves me. The lasting influence of his words on generations since his death is awe-inspiring.

My group, led by teachers Mr. Davlantis and Mr. Kmec, visited the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Evansville, where we were broken up into smaller groups to help assist the elderly. I visited the dementia division, where about thirty people live, all suffering from Alzheimer’s. 

I was immediately invited to participate in the “morning routine,” a circle of about ten people that lasts from 9 a.m. until noon. Among the activities were word association, keeping a balloon in the air using fly swatters, and a workout. When we broke for lunch, each person (myself included) had had a lot of fun and were ready to eat!

What struck me about this morning spent at Good Samaritan was just how much these older people seemed to enjoy my presence. They loved asking me questions and trying to find a way to relate to my answers with stories of their own. It was a truly beautiful morning, and moreover, it helped me better understand the message Dr. King sought to promote. 

Dr. King once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” This challenge to all has continued to live on even after his death many years ago, and on MLK day this year, the EDS Upper School helped others, and I got to help a group of people that perhaps needed only a few stories from a high schooler to make them smile. 

A group of high school students pose for a picture with a statue of Ronald McDonald outside of McDonald House.