Camp Hill, Pa. (January 20, 2020) — Today, Center for Schools and Communities staff will join hundreds of thousands of volunteers across America in making the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday a day of service. However, efforts aren’t limited to just one day; the Center has expanded its longstanding MLK initiative and the 2020 project will be a yearlong partnership with the Neighborhood Center of the United Methodist Church in Harrisburg.
Now in its second year, the Center for Schools and Communities MLK PEACE Project: Partners in Education, Advocacy and Commitment to Equity, aims to share the Center’s staff expertise to strengthen and build capacity for its partner organizations.
The Neighborhood Center provides a variety of youth and family programming including infant and toddler childcare, before- and after-school programs, a community “Caring Closet” and the “Ladies in Training” program, a youth empowerment initiative for girls.
“Martin Luther King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and opportunity for all and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be,” said Shileste Overton Morris, Ph.D., Center for Schools and Communities’ director.
Last month, Center for Schools and Communities kicked off the project with a Giving Tree so staff could donate items critical to meeting the needs of the youth and families the Neighborhood Center serves. On MLK Day, staff will volunteer at the Neighborhood Center, helping with maintenance, assembling shelving, reading to kids and celebrating the day with a children’s march.
Throughout the year, Center for Schools and Communities staff will provide training, professional development and other supports at the Neighborhood Center to foster long-lasting and sustained capacity building.
“We are pleased to partner with an organization like the Neighborhood Center, that is doing such important work in the community,” Overton Morris said. “By serving today and throughout the year, we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity.”