Two local schools used Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed Monday, to focus on service to others in their communities.

Students in grades one through 12 at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School met with Sen. Kesha Ram, a Vermont Democrat, to observe the day.

Ram, the first senator of color in Vermont, spoke in the school’s snowy outdoor amphitheater — 27-degree weather notwithstanding — sharing her story and work on racial justice.

Younger students at the school completed an art project to observe the day, while older pupils held legislative focus groups looking at historical and current events.

“I was inspired by Senator Ram’s drive to work with and for people who have opposing views, and by her wish to collaborate in order to make a better Vermont and a better world,” twelfth grader Alya MacManaway said.

At the nearby Vermont Day School, Age Well stopped by to talk about issues facing older adults at home and how the organization’s Meals on Wheels program can help out.

Erica Marks, the nonprofit’s director of volunteer services, joined students — virtually — and shared how volunteers can help provide interaction to potentially isolated people, exasperated by COVID-19.

Day School students will do their part by acting as pen pals, writing letters to people served by Age Well, to bring joy and social interaction, a press release said.

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