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January 12, 2017 Service Learning to Honor Dr. King By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has passed, I like to bring attention to his life and teachings throughout January. Scholastic has an entire collection of resources to set you up with books, Printables, activities and more, to honor this amazing man in American history. Be sure to check it out for great ways to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Dr. King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?" In addition to educating our students using these Scholastic resources, perhaps the best way to commemorate this great leader is to put his value of taking action for the greater good into effect within our classroom and schools, and not just on the day of his observance.

    Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the Martin Luther King Day holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. I am proud to be part of a school district who participates in this day of service, reaching thousands of community members each year.

    Within our district day of service, people have three ways to serve: volunteer, donate, or host a table. Classrooms, teachers, school organizations, district office, PTOs, and parent volunteers work with community leaders and organizations to put on this amazing event. Below you will find a list of some of our most successful service projects that take place on our day of service, to give you ideas for your own classroom, school, or district:

    • Musical and dance performances based on the theme of human rights
    • Boys & Girls Club conduct the Bucket Feet Project
    • Assemble toiletries for local shelters — donations are collected ahead of time and brought in day of service
    • Food Pantry collection, sorting, and bagging
    • Decorate squares for Project Linus: quilts going to hospitalized children
    • Write letters to soldiers in the hospital and children of the military as part of the Operation Hero Pack.
    • Attendees decorate tablecloths to donate to the USO, themed for upcoming holidays
    • Make Valentine's Day cards for soldiers for Operation Support Our Troops
    • Help scoop non-perishable soup ingredients into bags which are labeled and include recipes, and are then donated to local food bank
    • Create bookmarks for local book collection and donation organization
    • Color paper dolls to raise awareness about the devastation that has occurred because of the Genocide in Darfur and throughout Africa in association with the Reach for Change project
    • Make dog toys as part of our local animal shelter project
    • Color flowers and make flower pots for local hospital
    • Decorate flip-flops for youth in India with project GiveIndia
    • Ceramic tile project to create murals for local nursing/assisted living residences
    • Make bird garland to feed the birds during winter

    The best part of this list of ideas is that even though we as a district and community collaborate to put on this large-scale event, they are all simple enough to do individually with your class TOMORROW. From cards for soldiers to food pantry collections, and quilt squares to bird garland, these service activities are either FREE (making cards) or have minimal expense (and parents or businesses would likely donate) and are simple enough that any age can do them.

    What about TIME?

    If you would like to incorporate service learning into your classroom, but worry about finding the time, here are some suggestions to make it work:

    • Early finisher activities
    • Indoor recess option
    • Before/after school club/volunteer option
    • Tie projects to your curriculum (writing letters/cards, donations for a geographic location you are learning about, nature and animal items as you learn about those topics in science, etc.)
    • Friday fun day incorporating service learning into your time slot for class reward

    I hope you will try at least ONE of these great ways to not only honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also for the greater good. And I hope that you do so, not only on the day we celebrate this great leader, but throughout the rest of your school year!

     

     

    Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has passed, I like to bring attention to his life and teachings throughout January. Scholastic has an entire collection of resources to set you up with books, Printables, activities and more, to honor this amazing man in American history. Be sure to check it out for great ways to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Dr. King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?" In addition to educating our students using these Scholastic resources, perhaps the best way to commemorate this great leader is to put his value of taking action for the greater good into effect within our classroom and schools, and not just on the day of his observance.

    Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the Martin Luther King Day holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. I am proud to be part of a school district who participates in this day of service, reaching thousands of community members each year.

    Within our district day of service, people have three ways to serve: volunteer, donate, or host a table. Classrooms, teachers, school organizations, district office, PTOs, and parent volunteers work with community leaders and organizations to put on this amazing event. Below you will find a list of some of our most successful service projects that take place on our day of service, to give you ideas for your own classroom, school, or district:

    • Musical and dance performances based on the theme of human rights
    • Boys & Girls Club conduct the Bucket Feet Project
    • Assemble toiletries for local shelters — donations are collected ahead of time and brought in day of service
    • Food Pantry collection, sorting, and bagging
    • Decorate squares for Project Linus: quilts going to hospitalized children
    • Write letters to soldiers in the hospital and children of the military as part of the Operation Hero Pack.
    • Attendees decorate tablecloths to donate to the USO, themed for upcoming holidays
    • Make Valentine's Day cards for soldiers for Operation Support Our Troops
    • Help scoop non-perishable soup ingredients into bags which are labeled and include recipes, and are then donated to local food bank
    • Create bookmarks for local book collection and donation organization
    • Color paper dolls to raise awareness about the devastation that has occurred because of the Genocide in Darfur and throughout Africa in association with the Reach for Change project
    • Make dog toys as part of our local animal shelter project
    • Color flowers and make flower pots for local hospital
    • Decorate flip-flops for youth in India with project GiveIndia
    • Ceramic tile project to create murals for local nursing/assisted living residences
    • Make bird garland to feed the birds during winter

    The best part of this list of ideas is that even though we as a district and community collaborate to put on this large-scale event, they are all simple enough to do individually with your class TOMORROW. From cards for soldiers to food pantry collections, and quilt squares to bird garland, these service activities are either FREE (making cards) or have minimal expense (and parents or businesses would likely donate) and are simple enough that any age can do them.

    What about TIME?

    If you would like to incorporate service learning into your classroom, but worry about finding the time, here are some suggestions to make it work:

    • Early finisher activities
    • Indoor recess option
    • Before/after school club/volunteer option
    • Tie projects to your curriculum (writing letters/cards, donations for a geographic location you are learning about, nature and animal items as you learn about those topics in science, etc.)
    • Friday fun day incorporating service learning into your time slot for class reward

    I hope you will try at least ONE of these great ways to not only honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also for the greater good. And I hope that you do so, not only on the day we celebrate this great leader, but throughout the rest of your school year!

     

     

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