On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, City Year Milwaukee organized 414 volunteers to paint murals, inspirational quotes and other artwork on the walls of North Division High School. Included were 70 City Year corps members and 344 volunteers representing organizations and businesses.
City Year, an AmeriCorps program, sends tutors, mentors and role models to city schools to help students stay on track to graduate.
“Today is about the Milwaukee community coming together,” Jason Holton, executive director of City Year Milwaukee, said at the event. “As an organization, we look up to Dr. King for his values and virtues. He’s an important person to American history, and it means a lot for us to come together as a community and honor his legacy through service.”
In addition to painting, volunteers rolled up their sleeves to build three benches and 10 end tables in the school’s wood shop. The benches and end tables will be donated to Nia Imani Family, Inc., a long-term transitional housing center for women and children at 1353 N. 25th St.
Principal Stanley McWilliams said the students and staff will appreciate the artwork for years to come. “(They) can enjoy more colorful and inspiring walls during the school day. Schools, businesses and organizations like City Year are essential for fostering an environment of community and student success,” said McWilliams.
Zilber Family Foundation sponsored lunch during the service day for more than 400 volunteers.
City Year Milwaukee corps members work in the Lindsay Heights community throughout the year. MLK Day is their biggest community service day, according to Holton. City Year staff and corps members in 24 other cities also organized volunteers to do public service in honor of Dr. King. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined City Year Washington, D.C., for the NationalDay of Service at Burrville Elementary School.