Holy Trinity Catholic School in York was a hub of community service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The entire student body – from PreK to sixth grade – spent the holiday in various volunteer efforts that supported the community and honored King’s legacy.
The school’s annual Day of Service paid tribute to the civil rights leader and his nonviolent activism for racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, 18 years after his assassination. The federal holiday has become an occasion for volunteer service in King’s name.
“Our school has always participated in service projects during Catholic Schools Week, but we decided to establish a full day of activities in celebration of Martin Luther King Day of Service,” said Holy Trinity’s principal, Kathleen Smith. “This full day of activities is more impactful for the students, who learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. and then see the full scope of what they’ve done in service as a school community.”
The school buzzed with projects on Jan. 18. Students assembled hygiene kits and dinnerware packets to benefit the homeless through LifePath Christian Ministries; packaged birthday cake kits for Catholic Harvest Food Pantry; cooked and assembled breakfast casseroles for Our Daily Bread soup kitchen; created “I Have a Dream” wreathes and posters for local hospitals and nursing homes; and wrote cards to express gratitude for local healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters.
Sixth grader Adonna Farley reflected on Martin Luther King’s leadership as her class created “I Have a Dream” posters. Decorating a poster with words associated with King and his legacy, Adonna said, “When we think of Martin Luther King, we look back on what he has done and what he fought for. We share those messages on our posters. He persevered. He was a leader, and he wanted to end segregation. He worked hard for racial equality.”
As the Day of Service came to a close, fifth grader Don Gabriel Constant considered the projects he worked on, after creating posters, cooking for the soup kitchen, and assembling birthday cake packages.
“All of the service today was in honor of Martin Luther King, to keep his memory alive. It’s also to help the community,” he said. “We’re in school today, and we’re doing service projects instead of having the day off. That’s a good thing to do for the community. It’s important to serve the less fortunate, especially today.”
(Learn more about Holy Trinity Catholic School at www.htcsyork.org.)
(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness