Come Together to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with 3rd Annual Day of Community Service
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Prepared by Mary Anne Sullivan for River View Observer
Hoboken & Jersey City, New Jersey â€“ January 18th, 2013 â€“ There may not be any classes on Monday, January 21, but over 200 students from All Saints Episcopal Day School, Mustard Seed School and Stevens Cooperative School will spend the day learning what Dr. King meant when he said, â€œLifeâ€™s most persistent and urgent question is â€˜What are you doing for others?â€™â€Â This â€œDay of Serviceâ€ will include children from Kindergarten through 8th grade working alongside teachers and parents in a wide range of activities.
Â â€œThis is a â€˜day on,â€™ not a â€˜day offâ€™â€ remarked one 8th grader.Â â€œA friend from another school was surprised I would come to school when I didnâ€™t have to.Â But itâ€™s the perfect way to spend MLK Day, and I told my friend I wouldnâ€™t miss this.â€
Â â€œThis partnership makes wonderful sense because it sends an important message about community,â€ says Jill Singleton, All Saintsâ€™ Head of School.Â â€œThis day honors Dr. King’s life and legacy by engaging the children in meaningful, hands on service opportunities.Â Our service buddies will experience first-hand the formation of community as they make new friends in service.â€
Â â€œWe constantly encourage students to think beyond themselves,â€ says Sergio Alati, Stevensâ€™ Head of School, who notes that community service is a hallmark of progressive education.Â â€œThis day of service will give them a chance to see how even the smallest actions can make a significant difference when people band together. And we hope some lasting friendships are born in the process.â€
Â “As schools, we teach students more than academics. We teach students that they are citizens in the broader community, that everyoneâ€”no matter what ageâ€”has something to contribute. This collaboration among multiple schools embodies that idea. This day of service is a fitting celebration of Dr. King and a reminder that there is more that unites us than divides us,â€ says Thomas S. Postema, Head of Mustard Seed School.
Among the enterprising projects:
Â -Â Â A sandwich squad will pack bag lunches and pass them out to the patrons of St. Matthew Trinityâ€™s Lunch Time Ministry in Hoboken.
Â -Â Â Students will keep Dr. Kingâ€™s dream alive by making pillows to be donated to a variety of charitable organizations.
Â -Â Â Each student will learn 1-2 lines of Dr. Kingâ€™s famous â€œI have a dreamâ€ speech and will perform at the closing ceremony.
Â -Â Â Students will also perform songs to Keep Dr. Kingâ€™s dream alive to celebrate and honor the Civil Rights movement.
Â Â The student volunteers will begin the day at 9:00am at the different project sites and then come together at 11:30pm at the All Saintâ€™s Church (707 Washington Street, Hoboken) for a Celebration Ceremony.Â They will share snack, personal reflections and songs.
About the Schools
Â All Saints Episcopal Day School, an interdenominational school in Hoboken, New Jersey, has nurtured academic excellence and social responsibility for children through enriched experiences in an urban community since 1985. Founded with 16 preschoolers, All Saints now enrolls more 176 students from Nursery through Eighth Grade. The school’s professional teaching faculty offers a core curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education and health; as well as an array of special subjects, including Spanish, art, music, dance and community service. The Day School is a ministry of All Saints Episcopal Parish, and fosters an environment in which students can embrace their fundamental connection with children from diverse faith backgrounds. Visit www.allsaintsdayschool.org.
Â For over 30 years, Mustard Seed School has been addressing the educational needs of the urban community by stimulating and broadening the experiences of city children and by educating students in an intercultural, interdenominational Christian setting. Mustard Seed School has an intentional mission to the urban poor, with over 50 percent of its Kindergarten through Eighth Grade students receiving financial aid. The school has over 250 preK-8th grade students
Â Stevens Cooperative School, founded in 1949, is the only nonsectarian independent elementary school in Hoboken.Â Stevens is the oldest parent cooperative school in New Jersey and an excellent model of progressive education in action.Â It is accredited by the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools and serves students from 2 year olds through the 8th grade on its Hoboken and Jersey City campuses.Â Stevens Cooperativeâ€™s mission is to provide a challenging, meaningful progressive education within a supportive and cooperative community. Through a developmentally appropriate curriculum, designed for varied learning styles, Stevens students become confident life-long learners and responsible citizens with the skills to succeed beyond the schoolâ€™s doors. Visit www.stevenscoop.org.