Written by Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) organized the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18 to educate Connecticut elementary school students on King's teachings and philosophies.
To honor King's legacy and to celebrate the national holiday in his honor, Eastern students teamed up with Teach for America, an organization of educators who work to expand educational opportunity for low-income communities, to engage in activities focused on themes of social justice, nonviolence and peace. Eastern students went to Sweeney, North Windham, Windham Central and Natchaug afterschool programs to lead activities with students, and teach them about King's values. CCE student leaders included Federica Bucca, Jeannine Gemma, Max Goto, Yollaine Kaja, Megan Sargent and Olivia Carney.
Some Eastern students also went to Journey House, a residential center for at-risk adolescent girls, to lead an activity with Journey House residents about what they can do to advance King's principles of nonviolence and community participation. That evening, 25 volunteers attended a session in the Student Center to reflect on their experience and how they can help make King's teachings a reality.