Every year, City Year Philadelphia participates in our city’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the largest King Day event in the nation. This day of service, honoring Dr. King ignites social responsibility and as a result creates an influential impact on the Philadelphia community.

City Year Philadelphia builds democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and the social entrepreneurship of over 200 young-adult AmeriCorps members. Through the AmeriCorps members, the organization provides extra support to increase our city’s graduation rate by focusing on improving students’ attendance, behavior, and course failure in math and English in high-need schools.  

One of the schools City Year is supporting this year is Mary McLeod Bethune School in North Philadelphia. Although City Year’s primary focus are the students, the building itself could use some extra love and care.

On City Year Philadelphia's MLK Day of Service this year, 850 volunteers will come together and transform the Bethune School. City Year will add to the school’s environment by welcoming community members to create an exhilarating space for students to learn and play.

Paul Wilkens, a City Year AmeriCorps Member serving at Bethune says, "Our students spend nine years of their education in this building and with the challenges they face inside and outside of school, I think they are deserving of a brightened space. They will be so excited to see their updated beautiful school."

At the Day of Service, volunteers will have the opportunity to paint over 85 influential and encouraging murals in the school. Alongside painting murals, many will also participate in construction projects that will assist in giving Bethune’s students a better environment. These projects include assembling gymnasium team benches, fleece pillows and needed trash can holders. 

To get a behind the scenes look at a service day, click here.

Together, City Year volunteers will join Global Citizen to honor the legacy of Martin Luther’s King, Jr. This day and the event will serve as a reminder of the dedication and hard work Dr. King gave to service for a cause greater than self, as he once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

If you would like to join us on January 18th, 2016 from 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m., please  register for our transformational service day!

This event has been made possible by sponsors, American Airlines, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and T Mobile.

To learn more, check out our event page.

Written by City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member, Star Taylor serving on the Civic Engagement Team

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