On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, Mamaroneck High School students will be taking part in a nationwide initiative designed to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy of public service. By delivering meals, refurbishing non-profit offices, recording books on tape, or visiting senior homes, the students are poised to make it “a day on, not a day off.”
Non-Profit Organizations Partner With MHS Students
Teams of volunteers will be working for a few hours on various projects throughout the day to assist non-profit organizations. So far, 15 organizations have committed to providing projects in which students can participate. These include: Habitat for Humanity, The CAP Center, Larchmont/Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force, Sarah Neuman Center and United Hebrew of New Rochelle.
“The residents of our Nursing Home and Willow Towers Assisted Living, are very excited to have the students from Mamaroneck High School visit for the Martin Luther King Day of Service, “ said Linda Forman, vice president of community relations at United Hebrew. “We are committed to partnering with community organizations that provide meaningful opportunities for intergenerational experiences.”
Students will be involved in: musical performances, meal delivery, visiting seniors, repair work, art projects and carnival events. In addition, some students will take leadership roles by working with agency staff members to coordinate logistics and by recruiting peers to get involved.
Bridging Social Barriers
“The enthusiasm, participation and commitment to work as a community is a testament to the strength and good will of the human spirit,” said Sondra Levy, PTSA event co-coordinator. “When given the opportunity, our young people are eager to get involved in helping others in need.”
Research indicates that participating in community service projects leads to self-empowerment and a bridging of barriers. “In the end, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will help teach students that we are more alike than we are different, and it will deepen the growing respect and relationship amongst the diverse population in our local community,” added Ms. Levy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday and students are given a day off from school. Despite the vacation, students have been signing up to volunteer for the day.
In a letter to parents, Dr. Mark Orfinger MHS principal wrote: “a group of very dedicated and civic-minded parents from our PTSA is planning to enlist students and adult mentors to participate in a local community MLK, Jr. Day of Service.” He along with Assistant Principal Steve Frasene and many of the faculty are helping with the event. There are 37 days until the King holiday and the organizers hope is that hundreds of students will enlist their services and participate.
“It’s exciting to see how this day of service is coming together, enabling students the opportunity to think beyond themselves,” said Debbie Manetta, director of public information for Mamaroneck Schools. “The district is happy to support this extremely worthwhile PTSA initiative and encourage students to explore the many benefits that come from service learning.”
The campaign slogan for the day is: BE GREAT….VOLUNTEER!
Eve Silver, is a co-coordinator of the event. For more information, she can be reached at the Youth Employment Service office: 220-3188