January 07, 2010

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By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. - On the day the nation marks Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of bringing about change through good works, a group of Bucknell University students and alumni will come together in Philadelphia to do just that.

About 60 Bucknell students and alumni will participate in the MLK National Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18, working in a school library, community center and apartment complex to "keep the dream alive," said Jessica Hess, Bucknell's director of multicultural student services.

"This is a way for us to honor the memory of Dr. King and to take the principles he stood for and make it a day on instead of a day off to emphasize community service and working with our neighbors," Hess said.

The next day, Tuesday, Jan. 19, a different group of about 325 students, faculty, staff and community members will launch a similar outreach effort in the Susquehanna Valley, also in observance of the MLK service day. Members of fraternities and sororities, athletics teams, faculty, staff and the community will visit schools, nursing homes and community centers to help with building-improvement projects and educational programs, said Poppy Goforth, Bucknell's director of community service.

Groups will get their assignments in the morning, collect supplies and work at community organizations until the afternoon, when they will report back on their progress. The service projects are supported by a $250 grant from the National Day of Service organization and a $400 award for a video produced by the student PodSquad about the event last year.

MLK dinner
The events will culminate with the annual MLK Beloved Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the Terrace Room of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell. Doors open at 6:15p.m. The Rev. Kirby Spivey III, Class of '98, will give the talk, "It Was All a Dream." A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. Tickets are available in advance for $10. For more information contact mss@bucknell.edu or 570-577-1095. 

Spivey is the assistant pastor at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church and teaches Biblical studies, liberation theology and Christian social ethics at New York Theological Seminary.

Philadelphia outreach
The community outreach activities on Monday, Jan. 18, in Philadelphia will include:

  • Southwest Leadership Academy, 7101 Paschall Ave.: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will clean, stack books and organize the school library.
  • Keep the Dream Alive Community Development Corporation's Hillcreek Apartments, 528 Adams Ave.: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A group will pick up the grounds, mop and paint inside.
  • Klein Jewish Community Center, 10100 Jamison Ave., 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Volunteers will prepare and serve lunch to senior citizens.

Lewisburg volunteers
Participants in Lewisburg also will participate in improvement projects and teach lessons on civil rights and the legacy of MLK at various schools. The following are among the local activities: 

  • Chief Shikellamy Elementary School, 338 Memorial Drive, Sunbury: Presentations to all grade levels.
  • Lewisburg Area High School, 815 Market St., Lewisburg: Presentations to social studies and history classes.
  • Kinderfolk Preschool, 40 S. Third St., Lewisburg: Book reading and lesson for students.
  • Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority, 2010 Market St., Lewisburg: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will clean the gymnastics center.
  • Sunbury YMCA, 1150 N. Fourth St., Sunbury: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will paint walls in infant and toddler rooms.

 Contact: Division of Communications



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