For about 22 years, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been deemed a day of service in which individuals take a “day on, not a day off.” In order to keep the ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. alive, we come together and participate in service projects that solve problems and improve our communities.
On MLK Day 2017, Playworks SoCal, with their AmeriCorps team members, participated in a day of service to transform the Dorsey High School campus in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Our Pro Trainer Bertina Denogean led the kick-off along with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, former five-time Laker champion, current Laker television analyst Derek Fisher, Ret. Judge Candace Cooper (Dorsey alumna), board member and actor Roger Guenveur Smith, and L.A. Works Co-founder Bob L. Johnson. L.A. Works, New Balance, Kaiser, Target, Lakers Community, Laker Girls, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Accenture, Jonathan Club and others helped make this project possible.
A Dorsey facilities staff member stated that 1,500 participants “did in a day what they’ve been trying to do in four years.” They helped to restore the campus by giving the buildings a fresh coat of paint, revamping the murals, and building a gazebo for outdoor learning. The gardens were expanded and seedling tables were built. In addition, volunteers assisted with a sustainable e-waste program that properly disposes of electronic technology in an environmentally safe way.
Through these activities, students learned the importance of teamwork and benefited from the quality learning environment. With the upgraded garden, students can discover the responsibilities of caring for that garden along with skills related to science.
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