City School, Country School Honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Western Mass

City School and Country School Honor
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Through Community Engagement in Western Mass

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., students at The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in semi-rural Haydenville, MA and the students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in urban Springfield, MA will take part in a joint celebration and day of service. The City School / Country School project is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA).

Both schools have initiated a food drive to gather supplies for the food pantry at the MLK Community Center in Springfield which they will deliver on Friday, Jan 16. The full student bodies of both schools – over 400 children – and their teachers will come to the Community Center that morning for a participatory musical celebration of Dr. King’s life and work. Following the celebration, 4th and 5th grade students from both schools will go to the food pantry to help with the distribution of the collected foods and the 6-8th graders from Hilltown will return to the MLK School to volunteer time in the classrooms of the younger students there.

On Monday January 19, the choruses from both schools will be part of the Opening Ceremonies at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, MA.

Deirdre Arthen, the Community Coordinator at the Hilltown Charter School says,  ”This is a wonderful opportunity for all of our students to embody the dreams of Martin Luther King by connecting personally with one another and by offering their time and effort to better the lives of others”.

“MSA is pleased to support the City School / Country School Project during this important and symbolic time.  We hope this resource will enable the schools to help their students learn that they can help meet real community needs in conjunction with the King Day of Service.  We also hope that this project will provide a springboard for continued service throughout the year”, said Emily Haber, CEO of the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

The Corporation for National and Community Service selected Massachusetts to highlight the King Day of Service, encouraging individuals and communities to view MLK Day as a “Day On” rather than a “Day Off.”  Boosted by President-elect Obama’s call for Americans to serve on King Day and throughout the year, community-based organizations across the Commonwealth came out in record numbers to address need.


Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School serves 154  K-8 students from Hampshire and Franklin counties with an emphasis on developing and involving community, arts integration and project-based learning.
Our mission is:

  • To involve young people in a school which uses experiential, hands-on activities, the arts, and interdisciplinary studies, to foster critical thinking skills and a joy of learning.
  • To sustain a cooperative, intimate community of students, staff, families and local community members which operates through a consensus-based governance structure.
  • To cultivate children’s individual voices and a shared respect for each other, our community, and the world around us.

Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence

The  Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence serves 300  K-4 students from Springfield.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence is a free, public school that prepares kindergarten through 5th grade students of Springfield for academic success and engaged citizenship. The school insists on rigorous, challenging work and incorporates Dr. King’s commitment to the highest standards and the ideal of the beloved community.”

Martin Luther King Day of Service: January, 19th 2009
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968)
I Have a Dream

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