Day of service in MLK's honor

January 19, 2009 9:54:41 AM PST
Instead of taking the MLK holiday off from work, many are working in their community to help others There were some 1,500 people at Martin Luther King College Prep Monday, mostly students, participating in all sorts of activities from every background, every part of the city, all working together like Martin Luther King once dreamed.

They are calling it "service for peace." School may be out throughout the country, but under the saying "A day on instead of a day off," CPS students and their parents gathered at Martin Luther King College Prep Monday morning to honor Dr. King's legacy by promoting cooperation and non-violence.

"We're painting a picture of Martin Luther King and Barack holding a globe representing the world being united," said Asia Gales, CPS student.

"So many people missed the idea and they think that it's just a regular day just a day to take off, but I think it's a day to work," said Daniel McKenzie, CPS student.

Activities range from a talent workshop where participants get to learn how to become better performance artists to martial arts exercises and basketball games sponsored by Ceasefire.

"We're also trying to instill in them the power of teamwork, the power of networking, when to pass the ball in life situations so things don't get so tough on you at times," said Tio Hardiman, Ceasefire. "That's the main purpose today, is unifying young men and women throughout the city of Chicago."

Also on the South Side, some 350 middle and high school students held a hero's pledge ceremony at the site of Missionary Baptist Church. From there, it's on to Sherwood Elementary where they will spend the day in service, painting murals, hallways, and classrooms.

The painting at Sherwood is probably going to go on for a good part of the afternoon. They could probably still use some volunteers there. At Martin Luther King College Prep, activities are wrapping up around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.