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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at JHS 218 PAL Beacon Program

A Day On! Not a Day Off!

Published 25 January, 2012

"We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness"   -Dr Martin Luther King

On the 3rd Monday of January, schools, federal offices, post office and banks across America closed as we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In keeping with the theme, “A Day On, Not a Day Off!" Most students celebrated a day without homework or a day to hang out with friends. It was much more than that for PAL Beacons. The three PAL Beacon programs, Goldie Maple Academy, Brownsville Beacon, and IS 218 collaborated with their partners to host a full day of activities and educational workshops for the youth.

The programs did a phenomenal job hosting this event; opening with a song from the IS 218 Choir, followed by a dance performance. Once the dancers’ performances were complete, all 257 participants, partners, and volunteers, enjoyed a film called Mighty Times the Children March. Mighty Time: the Children's March, a 2004 short documentary film about the Birmingham Civil Rights marches, won an Academy Award in 2005 for Documentary Short Subject.

Excited and now fully engaged, the participants were then separated by age into ten separate classrooms to enjoy educational workshops with topics ranging from, “Tolerance” to “The Life and Legacy of Dr. MLK.”

Energized and full of knowledge the kids happily took a break for a hot healthy lunch catered by Manna’s Restaurant.

After a full healthy lunch, the participants went back to the classrooms to work on art based projects for the remainder of the day. The students created Care Packages for the homeless, worked on developing video footage of the program, and designed t-shirts, while developing leadership skills. Each student created leadership slogans that started with “I lead by…”

DYCD encourages Beacons on this day to enlist the community in helping to establish lasting programs for honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers donate their time to make a difference on this day. This is a day to reflect on how Dr. King changed people’s lives by advocating for their civil rights and how he promoted equality through non-violent means.

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Police Athletic League

The Police Athletic League (PAL) is New York City’s largest, nonprofit, independent youth organization. Founded in 1914, PAL serves 50,000 New York City boys and girls each year with recreational, educational, cultural and social programs.PAL is the official youth agency of the New York Police Department.

Media Contacts

Andrea Kotuk, Andrea & Associates. Tel: +1 (212) 353-9585
Police Athletic League NYC. Tel: +1 (212) 477-9450