North County Commemorates Dr. King on Jan. 20

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The Church Street Center in North Adams was packed at last year's Day of Service celebration.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North County commemorates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with community service events and a "Wall of Hope."

The 21st annual Day of Service kicks off at 9 a.m. at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center with coffee and refreshments. Volunteers can sign up for different community service projects in North Berkshire suitable for all ages and abilities. The event is sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and its partners.  
Participants will return at noon for lunch at the center, followed by remarks on the legacy of King and the presenting of the annual Peacemaker Award to Paul Austin of Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity for his many years of service to building homes for families in the area.

Northern Berkshire Neighbors, a program of NBCC, will display a "Wall of Hope," a compilation of essays, poems, reflections and pictures about community dreams by local fourth- and fifth-graders.

The project was first done in 1994 with the participation of youth across North Berkshire in celebration of King's civil rights work. The submissions were compiled into the first edition of the "Book of Dreams." Northern Berkshire Neighbors reached to those who participated in the first edition to also share their reflections on what they wrote or drew in 1994 and to share it on the Wall of Hope.

Participating schools include Greylock and Sullivan elementary schools in North Adams, C.T. Plunkett and St. Stanislaus schools in Adams, Gabriel Abbott Memorial School in Florida and Emma Miller Memorial School in Savoy.

Williams College will also note the holiday with a series of events and lectures on Friday and on Monday that are free and open to the public:

The Davis Center will lead an assembly at Williamstown Elementary School commemorating the memory of King beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday in the school's auditorium. Students will share essays, poems, and poster presentations in response to the question, "Who is Martin Luther King Jr.?" The program will also feature Williams dance and a capella group performances.
On Monday, events in Baxter Hall in the Paresky Center include a multimedia project from noon to 2 with two short films, "Martin Luther King: An Amazing Grace” (1978) and "Cicero Marc" about civil rights in Cicero, Ill., in 1966, along with slideshow and scholars; from 1 until 3, the Center for Learning in Action will be on hand to answer questions about experimental education, civic engagement, and service learning and opportunities on- and off-campus; college Chaplain Rick Spalding will lead a moment of silence at 4 p.m. in memory of King, children from Williamstown will present essays and a group from Brayton Elementary School in North Adams will recite excerpts from works by activists Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

A film screening of "#Regeneration" at Images Cinema runs from 5 to 7 p.m. questioning the political apathy of young people. Following the film, there will be a panel and discussion led by the college's Students for Educational Reform.

For more information on the Community Day of Service, contact Kathy Keeser at or 413-346-7196 or Liz Boland at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition at 413-663-7588.


Tags: community service,   holiday,   MLK Day,   

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