On Friday, the DCD community joined together for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The day began with an opening assembly where Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ivy Alphonse-Crean presented about Dr. King and his unique connection to Boston. Mrs. A-C noted that Dr. King earned his PhD in Theology from Boston University and met his wife Coretta Scott King in Boston Common where their love is now commemorated with the new monument “The Embrace” by Hank Willis Thomas. The rest of the assembly and the day was focused on what the DCD community can learn and do in honor of the years of service Dr. King dedicated to racial equality in America.

To remind everyone that we can change the world even with the small acts of kindness, the DCD Kindergarten class performed and signed “With My Own Two Hands.” Students then roared with applause when special guest and past DCD teacher Lynne Mayard took the stage. She presented on how Dr. King impacted her upbringing as he was still alive and advocating for change when Mrs. Mayard was in elementary school. Mrs. Mayard mentioned how DCD is unique for several affinity spaces offered and spoke about her process of starting Culture Club, the after-school affinity group for lower school students of color in grades 1-5. Culture Club is in its twelfth year and still going strong! DCD continues to create spaces of belonging and works to provide an equitable learning environment. There are eight student affinity space and dialogue groups on campus: LGBTQIA+ Allies, Girls’ Voices, Boys Talk, Students of Color, Social Justice Club, Middle School Affinity Spaces and Dialogue Groups, Breakfast Buddies and Neurodiversity.

After assembly, students moved into groups for their service learning on and off campus. At DCD, giving back is part of growing into active citizens of the world. Check out all the student projects and the organizations that will benefit from service learning at DCD!

Primary and Lower School Service Learning Projects by Grade:

  • Pre-K: Baked dog and cat treats for Animal Rescue League
  • Kindergarten: Assembled birthday bags for The Walker School
  • Grade 1: Visited and sang songs to the senior residents of Traditions of Dedham
  • Grade 2: Make-a-Wish Walkathon
  • Grade 3: Crafted valentines for February shoppers of Dedham Food Pantry, virtual tour of the pantry, and kick-off of “Deeds for Donations” for a future work visit
  • Grade 4: Collected towels and blankets to be donated to Animal Rescue League
  • Grade 5: Sewed temporary capture bags for Monomoy Bird Sanctuary

Middle School Service Learning Projects:

  • Operation Gratitude: Crafted handwritten letters to veterans and active duty military to thank them for their service
  • Valentines for Linden: Wrote valentines to nursing home residents
  • Vidigami Face-Tagging: Tagged current student faces in DCD’s photo sharing community platform
  • Nothing but Nets: Created powerpoint presentations on malaria education, created signage for the upcoming Shootathon Fundraiser, to be held February 3rd, 12:30pm-2pm
  • Library: Updated hallway displays and labeled book spines with categories
  • Nameplates for Charles River Center: Painted personalized wooden workstation name tags to support adults with developmental disabilities
  • Dedham Food Pantry: Sorted foods and prioritized soon-to-expire goods for distribution to prevent food waste
  • Get Well Soon Cards for Boston Children’s Hospital: Created handwritten cards for children with extended hospital stays

Thank you to Mrs. A-C, Mrs. Hultgren, and Ms. Martinez for organizing an incredible Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and to all of our students for their commitment to service and support!