This Monday the Appleton school district will be recognizing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Students and district staff will not attend school or work for the first time in the history of the holiday.
In July the Appleton school board voted to observe Martin Luther King Jr. day as a holiday.
“We do need to honor MLK‘s birthday and this way with the day off for a federal holiday, but then we came around to the place where we said, ‘What can we do to provide some things in the community for families that want to engage in a celebration?’ And in our case we decided to do a designated MLK community day of service,” says superintendent of Appleton schools Judy Baseman.
The city of Appleton joined forces with the school board to create a day of service which will give students and their families the opportunity to volunteer on MLK’s birthday.
“Dr. King was a very adamant and vocal during his time here on earth that he said service is important because everyone can serve,” says the city’s director of diversity and inclusion Karen Nelson. “And as long as we are doing what we can to give back to the community, we’re making our city a better place.”
The change started with a petition presented at July’s board meeting.
The measure passed unanimously.
And for some now is the perfect time to recognize the holiday which has gone uncelebrated for too long.
“This has been a federal holiday now for many years and now we are ready to recognize here in the local city of Appleton, that this is important enough for us to pause and really take up the mantle of the values that Dr. King espoused,” says Nelson. “We can live those values every day as every day citizens here in the city of Appleton.”
The day of service kicks off 10:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. at East High School.
It is free and open to the public.
The day will include a community march, sampling of traditional soul food, cultural presentations and several opportunities to volunteer for local nonprofits.