Students at UrbanPromise's CamdenForward School and UrbanPromise Academy have a day off from school on Monday, but they won’t be sleeping in. They will honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a host of service projects in their East Camden neighborhood. “We expect more than 350 people from Kindergarten students to adult volunteers and staff members engaged in a wide variety of community service projects. There is no better way we can honor Dr. King and everyone who struggled in the Civil Rights movement than by using MLK Day as a day to serve our community and to help raise and maintain awareness among the children and youth we serve,” said UrbanPromise Academy Principal Andy Joshua. UrbanPromise Academy (UPA), a private Christian high school with 46 ninth through twelfth grade students, is ranked among the top three high schools in New Jersey for community service involvement. “We are a small school but we make a big difference in our community,” he said.
Students from UPA and the CamdenForward School a Kindergarten through 8th grade private school with 113 students enrolled, will get an early start Monday with an 8:30 am call to service program at the East Camden campus. Following that, students and adult volunteers will move to a nearby Johnson Cemetery where African-American veterans from as far back as the Civil War are buried, a project that UPA students have been working on for several years. “We rediscovered this cemetery and want to put an historical marker to honor the African American veterans going back to the civil war who are buried there,” said Joshua.
Some other UrbanPromise volunteers will clear an old railroad right of way that runs from East Camden to Pennsauken for a future bike trail, create placemats and silverware packets for the Cathedral Kitchen, participate in poetry workshops, and paint murals around the UrbanPromise East Camden Campus. There will also be several English and Spanish language information sessions for families with children with special needs or who want to improve literacy skills at home. It is UrbanPromise’s 4th Annual MLK Day of Service and will wrap up around Noon, with participants being invited to add their thoughts to an MLK word wall. “We want the students to express what their service projects meant to them,” said Joshua.
Location: 3700 Rudderow Street, Pennsaukeen, NJ 08110
Schedule for Monday, January 19th, 2015
- 8:00 am - Registration begins and light Continental Breakfast opens in UrbanPromise lobby and Sanctuary
- 8:30 am - Call to Service (opening dance performance, welcome, intro, and logistics) in Sanctuary
- 9:00 am - Service project begin
- 11:45 am to 12:30 pm - Service projects wrap-up
- Participants go to Spirit Building Cafeteria to pick-up lunch, be thanked, add note to MLK Word Wall, and then depart
UrbanPromise is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing children and youth with the support they need to succeed academically, grow spiritually, and prepare for leadership that will bring positive change to their communities. This is accomplished through after-school programs, summer camps, job training, two schools, experiential learning, and a host of other enrichment activities. To learn more, please visit www.urbanpromiseusa.org.