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January 22, 2018

AmeriCorps members give back during MLK Day

Although our members typically spend their days working in classrooms, assisting volunteers and students, this month they were given the opportunity to serve the larger community with inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day is marked as a national day of service when AmeriCorps members across the country join together for a day dedicated to volunteering outside of their traditional service sites. Reading Partners’ members were able to take part in this national effort on Friday, January 12, by partnering with the Charleston Marathon. Our members helped prepare for this major race by assisting with pre-event logistics including packet preparation and supply sorting. It was a fun day working together and alongside other race volunteers.

Service days like MLK Day provide a great opportunity for AmeriCorps members to interact with one another and reinstall the importance of giving back to the community where they have committed to serve for a year or more.

Our special projects associate, Cierra Rogers shares,

Our AmeriCorps members’ day of service was a day for members to give back to our community while supporting a great cause. Martin Luther King Day is a ‘Day on, not a day off.’ Serving was a great way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and also a great way to create meaning in life.”

One of our members, Chris Bookhart, took greater inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and shared his interest with our students at St. Stephen Elementary School. In honor of MLK Day, Chris showed a video about a book called Martin’s Big Words. He thought the video was easy to understand and draw lessons from because it was about actual events from Dr. King’s life, some of the challenges he encountered,  and how he overcame them with words. The overall message of the book is that words of love are the way to conquer hate. Chris said the kids were engaged in the video, and afterward, they had a discussion about standing up for what’s right and how words can make an impact. He said it was a good opportunity to break up the usual pattern of reading out loud to the student individually, so they could have a group discussion.

Our AmeriCorps members are an invaluable part of the Reading Partners program, serving as site coordinators, volunteer coordinators, and more. Their passion for serving the local community, both inside and outside of the reading center, is an inspiration to us all.

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