NSU volunteers to assist schools on M.L. King Day of Service

During the nationwide observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Northeastern State University students, faculty and staff will conduct volunteer duties at local public schools.

As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 16, NSU volunteers will visit Sequoyah, Greenwood and Cherokee elementary schools and Tahlequah Middle School. Volunteers from NSU-Broken Arrow will visit Leisure Park Elementary School.

“Last year we had about 350 students, faculty and staff volunteer, and we would like a similar number this year,” said Kathleen Kennedy, director of campus involvement. “The schools were so appreciative last year and for this Day of Service we have seen an increase in the number of work requests.”

The volunteer effort is a collaboration between the American Democracy Project at Northeastern and NSU Student Affairs.

Barbara Fuller, instructor of educational foundations and leadership and chair of the American Democracy Project, coordinated the effort to discern labor and material needs at the Tahlequah schools. Forms were sent to teachers and administrators to complete and return.

“The response of the schools was immediate and positive,” she said. “We are very pleased that teachers have submitted jobs such as laminating, leveling classroom books, making scrapbooks for the children, creating starter baskets for the Native American culture classes and sanitizing areas of the schools.”

While offering many hours of volunteer work, NSU will also provide much of the supplies necessary for completion of the projects.

“Tahlequah Middle School is providing its own materials,” Kennedy said. “We will bring items for specific jobs at the elementary schools.”

Fuller said the Day of Service effort still needs volunteers and encouraged members of the NSU community to participate.

“Classes have only been in session a week so volunteer turnout isn’t where we want it yet,” she said. “This year the work requests will require about 275 volunteers. We need about 150 more in Tahlequah to ensure every task asked by the public schools is completed.”

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is part of United We Serve, President Obama’s national call-to-service initiative. NSU will join organizations and groups across the U.S. to serve their neighbors and communities.

In further observance, NSU will participate in the annual Martin Luther King Commemorative Parade and Rally at 11 a.m. in Tulsa. The parade begins at John Hope Franklin Boulevard and North Elgin Avenue, proceeds east through the historic Greenwood business district and ends at East Archer Street and North Elgin Avenue. NSU’s contingent will include the Sassy Hawks dance team, led by DeJon Jordan, coordinator of Northeastern’s University Violence Prevention Project.

Classes are not scheduled on Martin Luther King Day and NSU is encouraging participation and volunteerism among students, faculty and staff.

Participants in NSU’s Tahlequah projects meet at 9 a.m. in the University Center Herb Rozell Ballroom. Volunteers at NSUBA will meet at the Administrative Services Annex. Service shifts are 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and all participants receive a free T-shirt.

Applications are available and must be returned to the Office of Student Activities in the UC basement or Room 130 of Administrative Services in Broken Arrow. For more information call 918-444-2120 in Tahlequah or 918-449-6140 in Broken Arrow. 

Published: 1/13/2012 9:21:04 AM

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