DCD’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took place on Friday, January 18, 2013, engaging children, faculty, and parents in a morning spent doing and planning various types of community service activities.
The day opened with an all-school assembly that explored the music of the civil rights era. Students then spent two hours participating in service projects with their classmates. After the service activities, the community gathered again and students shared their outstanding work. In total, 13 separate projects were completed during the day:
• Birthday bundles for students at the Walker School
• Fleece Hats for students at the Walker School
• Coloring books for Mass General Hospital
• Walk-A-Thon for New England Disabled Sports
• Books, bookmarks, and gift bags for the Italian Home
• Towel and blanket drive for the Animal Rescue League of Dedham
• Books on CD for Kids are People Too Charter School
• Nothing but Nets activity to help fight Malaria in Africa
• Valentine’s Day cards for Head Start students
• The planning of an OXFAM fast
• Organizing a drive for Cradles to Crayons and making fleece blankets
• Painting name plates for the Charles River Center
• Planning a Kids for Timoun drive to help students in Haiti go to school
Community service has long been a significant educational priority at DCD. Throughout the year, children in all grades, from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8, are engaged in a range of age-appropriate community service projects to reach out to others who are less fortunate.
Over the years projects have benefited a number of organizations—local, national, and international—including Nothing but Nets, OXFAM, Head Start, Cradles to Crayons, the Charles River Center, schools in Haiti, the Italian Home for Children, the pediatric cancer unit of Mass General Hospital, the Dedham branch of the MSPCA, and the Dedham Council on Aging, among many others.
DCD has been recognized for its community service activities by PIN, the Parents’ Independent School Network, receiving more than 50 awards over the past five years, many with funding.
The MLK Jr. Service Day celebration is just one of many DCD programs that strives to inspire students to become caring, ethical members of the larger world by emphasizing thoughtful citizenship and respect for self and others.