Colonial School District students and families honored civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 17 by participating in service projects and by sharing performances meant to remind all of Dr. King’s enduring fight for social justice.

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and the International Baccalaureate program made their day-off a day-on by helping to run four service project stations. Giving back to the community has become a way to honor Dr. King and the federal holiday, given Dr. King’s commitment to service.

The high school students ran four stations and assisted over 120 elementary school children in completing activities such as making pet toys for animal shelters; writing letters for Operation Gratitude to thank first responders and military personnel for their service; creating Valentine’s Day cards for senior citizens; and coloring kind messages for Color A Smile (an organization that delivers drawings to senior citizens, troops overseas, and others). High school student volunteers included Adam Balasko, Wendi Mendoza, Kira Boakye, Leea Smith, Charlie Spause, Amelia Buffington, Harrison Spector, and Julia Couzens.

Along with the service activities, the Black Cultural Awareness (BCA) club presented a program that included a song, poetry reading, and excerpts of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The students who performed included Ronnie Keene, Sean Allen, Luwam Teklegiorgis, Aniya Wood, Asia Wyatt, Kendall Mitchell, Sanaa Power, Christina Hurtado, Olivia Bell, Zhaina Holmes, Katie Parris and Leea Smith. 

Ronnie, a ninth-grader who helped introduce his fellow BCA members, reminded attendees that they honored Dr. King’s legacy by serving and by coming to listen to the BCA’s performances. He encouraged all to continue to act in the days to come. 

“You should use the rest of the day to reflect on Dr. King and his accomplishments, but also use the rest of the year to act on your reflections because this isn’t just one day,” he said. “It’s been 60 years and we’re still working to achieve equality and we’re still working to achieve a greater union.”

BCA members and the Colonial Middle School Student Council had planned to clean up Conshohocken Borough parks on Jan. 17, but the weather led to a postponement. That service activity will be rescheduled for February.

Ideas for service projects that can be done at home at any time of the year can be found here (click to view our webpage).

To view the BCA performances, please click here for a video. If you have ideas for future Day of Service projects or would like to get involved for next year’s celebration, please contact Jessica Lester, Community Relations Coordinator, at jlester@colonialsd.org, or Gerald James, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, at gejames@colonialsd.org