PRINCETON: PDS students devote day of service to Martin Luther King Jr’s ideals


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The Princeton Day School community honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday by participating in a schoolwide day of service with a wide variety of projects.
“As Dr. King taught us, ‘Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?’ “ said Alesia Klein, interim head of the Lower School. “ We are so excited for a day of service, kindness, and gratitude.”
There Lower School students worked with the Middle School students on a number of projects. The Pre-K students worked with the fifth graders to write thank you notes to important helpers in the PDS community, including Buildings and Grounds and the cafeteria staff.
Kindergarteners partnered with sixth graders to make placemats for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. First-grade students made bird feeders for the resident PDS birds, using natural ingredients to create feeders that are environmentally friendly. Second graders participated in Color A Smile, an organization that mails colored smiles to seniors living in nursing homes and to military troops overseas.
Third graders made dog toys and dog treats for SAVE, a local animal shelter. The dog toys were created from recycled water bottles and leftover socks. Fourth-grade students delivered valentines to residents of Elm Court, a senior housing center. As they walked to Elm Court, the students also cleaned up the path along the Great Road.
There was also partnership between Middle School and Upper School students as the Middle School day of service began with the performance of “A Better Place,” an original theater piece co-written by Performing Arts Chair Deb Sugarman and 13 Upper School students, who also performed the piece.
The performance focused on how all are connected as human beings. The students who conceived the piece wrote: “If we think of Martin Luther King Jr. and his passion for service, it is founded on his firm understanding that all humans deserve a life of dignity and we are all interrelated. I can’t be free if you are not free.” After the performance, there was time for questions and conversation. “A Better Place” was also performed for the Upper School in the afternoon during its afternoon of service, and led to great conversations about inclusion and respect.
In addition to the projects the Middle and Lower School students partnered on, there was a Global Awareness/Literacy Read-a-thon in the MS Library and a Move-a-thon in the Fox room, which raised money for Homefront. Middle School student Kylan Tatum worked to secure sponsors to donate snacks and fresh juices for students running in the Upper Gym, and also to donate money to the various partners the school was working to support. The eighth-grade students took field trips to the Crisis Ministry, Homefront, the Mercer County Food Bank, SAVE, and Windrows.
Head of Middle School Renée Price, who was inspired to devote the entire day to service and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “Dr King said, ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’ This faith applies to our Middle School Day of Service. The ways in which this Middle School has pulled together, pitched in and committed to serve others is not only inspiring, but embodies so much of what our PDS mission is all about.” 

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