The Spokane Service Team, Washington Reading Corps and Spokane Public Schools Ready*Corps collaborated together to make Martin Luther King Day a Day on for Spokane.
On Friday, January 16th over 50 AmeriCorps members gathered for a collaboration training on diversity awareness and advocacy models. This was also a great time to make final preparations for Martin Luther King Day.
Martin Luther King Day events started early with the Spokane Service Team setting up tables and chairs for the hundreds of non-profit organizations who participate in the annual Spokane Service Fair in River Park Square. AmeriCorps members also helped children to make signs and posters for the Martin Luther King March extending from the INB Theater to River Park Square. The march was the largest in Spokane history with 1700 marchers warmed by powerful speeches from community leaders including Mayor Verner and the Reverend Happy Watkins.
Following the march, AmeriCorps members operated a youth fair in the atrium of the Spokane Bus Plaza. Fifty-five AmeriCorps members and alumni manned 14 different booths with activities for youth. Projects included folk music, story tables with free books, coloring activities, and activities to teach the history of civil rights. Five hundred adults and 175 youth visited the learning fair.
Youth also had an opportunity to serve. The Spokane Service Team brought donated baby clothes. Youth volunteers sorted the clothes and made bags of essentials to be donated to low-income families through the Mission Community Center. It was a powerful experience for children to know that they were giving a gift to a baby who needed warm clothes.
Pictures of the event are available online: