VIDEO: Bellmore-Merrick Hosts Districtwide Day of Service

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Thousands of students across the Central High School District once again learned the mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for service and carried on his legacy during the districtwide Day of Service on Jan. 18.

“We created more than 1,000 bags to benefit nearly a dozen local organizations,” explained Mepham High School social studies chairperson and Day of Service organizer Robyn Einbinder. “While you [students] think you may only be doing one small part right here today, it’s actually a large effort with significant impact to the surrounding community and organizations.”

After listening to inspirational video speeches from Dr. King during social studies classes, students packaged up donations for local shelters and human services organizations. Various items had been collected by each of the district’s six buildings during the past month.

“This is a great example of collaboration between the students from all of our schools,” added Kennedy High School Principal Gerard Owenburg.

The district’s Ambassador Program, a student-led think tank in support of their One Voice, One Message mission, spearheaded the effort. 

 “This day has become a part of the district’s continued commitment to caring for people in need in our community and beyond,” added Calhoun High School Principal Nicole Hollings.

Students also included handwritten inspirational quotes from Dr. King in the bags. At Merrick Avenue Middle School, after a lesson on “why MLK Day is referred to as a day of service,” students learned about Dr. King’s need for people to stand together and provide services to those in need.

“Students discussed the message of his speech and that all people, every person, any person can be great,” explained Assistant Principal Katelyn Dunn, a Day of Service organizer. “All you need to do is help provide service to others in need.”

While each school was charged with a different theme of donations, at Grand Avenue Middle School they collected books to benefit The Book Fairies.

“Everyone who donated really helped make our MLK Day of Service a tremendous success,” said Principal Carlo Conte. “This truly shows the community just how much Grand CARES.”

In addition to stocking the district-run food pantry, the Community Cupboard, items were also delivered by students and staff to various organizations around Long Island including The INN, Momma’s House, Regina House, Head Start, The Book Fairies and Rock n’ Wrap It Up.

“I spoke to the kids during the packaging effort and reminded them that the recipients of the tote bags were going to feel wonderful knowing that our students cared enough to make their day brighter,” said Susan Ellinghaus, principal of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program.