What can students learn today about the highly influential Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? So much is accessible for students to learn about the man and his works that it is impossible for students today to be a part of our society and not know of him. He changed our country, our mentalities about liberty and human rights. It is nothing short of amazing what one man with a powerful voice can accomplish in a fleeting period of time.
Students should be able to take away from a study of his life and accomplishments the strong set of values that he possessed. Values that he saw as so basic, everyone should have them.
He was, and still is today, a commanding authority on the rights of the individual. He spoke for those who had no platform and no hope. He opened doors that had been sealed shut. He encouraged volunteerism and a serving spirit.
Below is a list of service opportunities that students could participate in during the school day, either in school or in the community. There is no more fitting place for Dr. King’s values to be put into practice than with the youth of today. Explore these opportunities with your students, and let them choose one or many to participate in. When students are allowed a voice, their voices become much stronger.
- Organize a food drive
- Make crafts for kids in the hospital or those in nursing homes
- Shovel snow, rake leaves, sweep floors, etc. for neighbors
- Paint a mural in the community
- Clean up an area of the community that needs work (parks, for example)
- Plant trees for the community
- Research your community to see what their needs are
- Help out at an animal shelter
- Deliver meals to the elderly
- Babysit for a single parent for an evening
- Collect recyclables
- Serve meals at a homeless shelter
- Organize a clothing drive for kids in need