Have you ever ventured up that little road outside of Woody Creek that heads up toward Lenado? If you have not, the scenery and solitude cannot really be found anywhere else in the valley. Just up the way is a magical spot off this winding, dusty road that leads you to the Aspen Community School. I have lived in the valley for more than 20 years and am embarrassed to admit I did not even know where this school was located. When we had our son and were looking for a preschool for him, a friend mentioned the Early Childhood Center which is part of the ACS campus. I will never forget that first drive and the panoramic views of the Elks.
Our son is now a kindergartner at ACS and we feel so fortunate to still get to do that magical drive five days a week. Both my husband and I are alumni of small schools and we knew that ACS was just the best fit for our child. Right now ACS, a public and tuition-free charter school, is facing a unique challenge. We have a building that is over 30 years old and we need to upgrade the facility to allow our students to continue to foster their creativity, imagination and figure out what makes them “them.”
The I Believe Campaign can succeed with an all-hands-on-deck response from this community. Think back to when the Hummingbird Lode (Van Horn Park/Four Corners) was about to be sold and all of us who love to recreate or just realized the importance of keeping that parcel public came together and put our money together to buy it and let it remain open for our use. It is that kind of community spirit that has always been in our valley, recognizing something bigger and more important and then doing something about it.
The Aspen Community School is such an amazing asset to this community and the time is now to leave a lasting mark on our community by supporting the I Believe Campaign. If you have not visited the campus, come visit and experience the magic itself. The best part of the day starts with the principal, Jim Gilchrist, greeting every child by name. I do not think there are many schools that do that. I can honestly say that in the three months since our son has been there I personally have grown and become inspired by the kids I interact with everyday. Please visit www.IbelieveACS.org  for more information or to make a donation.