MLK Community Day of Service
Posted on 12/26/2018
Over the last several months, we have been having conversations about how best to recognize and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are proud to announce that plans have been finalized for the first annual MLK Community Day of Service.

January 21st will be a day to join together with our entire community to celebrate and recognize the federal holiday. This day has been developed with our community partners to provide opportunities to learn and serve others in the tradition of MLK. 

Calendar Change
Last July, our district revised this year’s school calendar to create a “no school day” for all staff and students on January 21, 2019, to honor the federal holiday recognizing the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This action was unanimously approved by our Board of Education. However, this isn’t just a day off, it’s a day full of unique opportunities. You and your families are invited to join us for a day of celebration, community, inclusion, and service!

Day of Service
The MLK Community Day of Service will be on Monday, January 21, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at East High School, located at 2121 Emmers Drive, in Appleton. It is free and open to the public.

We hope to use this day as both a community-wide day of helping others, but also an opportunity to share the culture of Dr. King. This will include a community march, a free sampling of traditional soul foods, cultural presentations and exhibits, musical performances, and volunteering to support local nonprofit organizations. 

Our community march will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the main entrance off Emmers Street at Appleton East and will end in the auditorium. Our participants will be inspired by student dancers, steppers, and singers and will be encouraged to join in song. We will learn more about Dr. King through videos and presentations, including student projects that were submitted for the MLK essay contest.

Nonprofits, community agencies, and volunteer organizations will be set up in the East Commons ready to share their missions and offer opportunities to volunteer at a future date or just to learn more about how they help our community. 

The History Museum at the Castle’s “A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities,” an exhibit about local Black history from the 1700s to the present, will also be onsite for learning and reflection.

The day culminates with an opportunity to serve others in our community. Buses will take volunteers around Appleton to engage in hands-on volunteering. Volunteers will choose from serving at the Community Clothes Closet, Pillars (a new organization formed through the merging of Homeless Connections, the Fox Valley Warming Shelter and the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities), the Appleton Public Library or Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. For those that prefer to stay onsite, we will also have service projects and activities available at Appleton East.

We can think of no better way to honor Dr. King than to come together, celebrate culture, and serve others. 

Do you want to sign up to volunteer at a community nonprofit during the MLK Community Day of Service? http://bit.ly/MLKDAYFoxCities

Are you a nonprofit that would like to share your mission and volunteer opportunities with the wider Appleton community? Sign up for a booth here.
After spending the day learning and serving, we encourage you to attend Lawrence University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 28th Celebration from 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., noted activist and advocate, will address this year's theme "Why Keep Dreaming? A Time for Action."

MLK in Our Schools
We are committed to working with our students, families, community members and staff to continue to recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through meaningful classroom and school-wide activities. 

Our educators are partnering with the MLK Community Day of Service Committee to provide an educational component that assists our students to better understand why we celebrate MLK’s birthday as a federal holiday and how his life’s work continues to impact our world.

Students received the essay prompt for the 2019 MLK Essay Contest:  Keeping Dr. King’s words in mind, how can we ensure that we stand up and use our voices when we see racial injustice in our school? In our neighborhood? In our world?  Contest participation was encouraged, but optional.

Every student in the AASD (K-12) will have the opportunity to appropriately engage with the MLK theme for 2019:  Why Keep Dreaming?  A Time for Action. This includes considering MLK’s quote from Beyond Vietnam:  A Time to Break the Silence, in which he said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”  

Schools will determine how they will provide students with this experience, preferably prior to January 21, 2019, or immediately following the federal holiday.

We continue to learn together about how best to support our district priorities that include providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive school environment for all. We are on a journey together to become a more culturally responsive organization – for every child every day – in every classroom every day, in every school every day – across this district. We will do this by working together, as a team, with input from students, families, staff, and the wider community. 
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