Press releaseFrom RiverLink:
The national Martin Luther King Day of Service challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King.
RiverLink is celebrating Dr. King's memory with service projects across the French Broad River watershed. Assistant volunteer coordinator, Jess Peete, said MLK Day is a way to get students engaged even though there is no school. "It's a day on, not a day off. We want people of all ages to see the impact they can have and I hope they will learn from an early age what a real difference they can make."
On Jan. 16, RiverLink partnered with Claxton Elementary School of Arts and Humanities as part of the school's MLK Day of Service. A group of 5th-graders gathered at the Reed Creek Greenway to learn about social and environmental justice and pick up litter from Reed Creek. The group discussed Dr. King's legacy and how service projects can better the entire community.
According to RiverLink's Education Coordinator, Lizzy Stokes-Cawley, it was clear to see that the students really put thought into the importance behind their service project and how it might affect other people.
"The Claxton 5th-graders were not only excited to be outside cleaning the Greenway but thoughtful as they considered the role Martin Luther King had in striving for equality as they did their part in working towards environmental justice", Stokes-Cawley said.
The Claxton students ended up gathering more than 12 bags of trash in three short hours. Everyone in the group was impressed with the trash gathered along Reed Creek's banks, including shoes, a sink, and an area rug.
Stokes-Cawley was pleasantly surprised by the group's selflessness. "Among the unique objects found while Claxton's 5th-grade spent their morning cleaning the greenway was a dollar, the finder and one of our newest River stewards offered to donate the dollar to RiverLink! Reminding us of the amazing contribution even our young volunteers can make!"
Pictures of the Claxton Elementary MLK Day of Service can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/riverlink.