Hundreds of volunteers and alumni ‘Come Back, Give Back’ to DPS for the MLK Day of Service

Events and volunteer projects included the major 4th Annual King Legacy March at King High School, student enrichment, art and murals, paint/clean up, repurposing and decluttering underutilized space at several dozen DPS elementary, middle and high schools

Hundreds of community volunteers, alumni, students and parents made a pledge to ‘Come Back, Give Back’ to DPS on Monday, January 21 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the district’s first-ever MLK Alumni Day of Service.

Wayne State University’s football team alone dedicated 84 of its student athletes to volunteer.

The Day of Service included the major 4th Annual King Legacy March at King High School, and the opening of doors at several dozen DPS elementary, middle and high schools as a new opportunity to provide the schools’ decades of graduating classes an engaging way to return to their alma maters to support current students.

The schools also offered meeting places for volunteers to watch the festivities leading up to the Presidential Inauguration, with the district providing television viewing areas at each site.

The projects engaged volunteers in a two- to three-hour morning activity such as school beautification, enrichment, or any other support that the school may have needed. Volunteers across DPS schools received breakfast and lunch as part of their volunteer day.

At the Osborn High School campus, representing three of the eight schools at which joint United Way/City Year/DPS projects were planned, volunteers painted murals, built benches for indoor and outdoor seating, organized storage areas, and helped to transform an unused classroom into a Student Union with lounge seating and small group work spaces.

The other sites at which United Way, City Year, and DPS partnered are Cody Campus, Detroit Collegiate Prep and Noble Elementary.

Elsewhere across Detroit Public Schools, Bates Academy volunteers completed a large library mural. Mann School volunteers were joined by Michigan State University students in reshelving books, painting and cleaning. Ronald Brown Academy hosted a media center reorganization/decorating event honoring Coretta Scott King. Fisher Lower volunteers assisted students in creating artwork celebrating the life of Dr. King for exhibiting at Children’s Hospital.

Bennett School re-enacted the 1963 March on Washington on Mullane St. in front of the school.

Other schools welcoming alumni and volunteers for special projects on January 21 included: Beard, Bennett, Brewer, Carleton, Chrysler, Clark, Clippert, Cooke, Gardner, Golightly Education Center, Gompers, JR King, Mason, Munger, Pasteur, Paul Robeson, Spain, Wayne and others.

“We had over 60 students, parents and staff volunteer,” said Munger Principal Deborah Hurst. “We packed 12,000 pounds of food in roughly two hours.  It took about 35 minutes to distribute it.  It was truly amazing to see the Munger Team in the cold and blowing snow, loading food into cars.”

Cass Tech also performed at Howard University in the center of campus during the Presidential Inauguration festivities.

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