The St. Paul's Schools Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Vision with Annual KVD & Day of Service
Students and faculty at St. Paul's and St. Paul's School for Girls spent Friday, January 13 listening to and discussing values espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his fight for freedom, justice, and understanding.
The annual King's Vision Day celebration began with an all-school assembly focused upon the theme, "I Have a Dream." Kisha L. Webster, founder of consulting firm K.L. Webster & Associates, addressed students, faculty, and staff, inviting them to think critically about their dreams and talents. Prior to founding to her firm, Webster served as Director of Education and Community Engagement for Welcoming Schools Project, part of the Human Rights Campaign, and worked as a school administrator and teacher in public and private schools for nearly 20 years.
Upper School students and faculty then had the chance to view, reflect upon and discuss one of 25 pre-selected films, ranging from big budget Hollywood productions and popular independent productions to foreign films and documentaries.
9th grade students also heard from Ray Jenkins, who spent many years covering MLK during the Civil Rights era as a journalist. He has also written Blind Vengeance – an account of the 1989 Roy Moody Mail Bomb Murders.
After a morning of speeches and screenings, students enjoyed a lunch and Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Social in the Ward Center, followed by group discussions.
The day ended with an open mic session in the Performance Gym, during which all students broke out into an impromptu sing-a-long of "Lean on Me."
On Monday, January 16, 28 upper school students from SPSG and SP spent their school holiday participating in the third annual coordinated Day of Service. While many take the day off, there are many people across the country and in Baltimore who make it a day "on," a day to serve as way to honor the legacy of Dr. King.
Students split into two groups to work with either Civic Works or Paul's Place, two partner organizations which reflect our Episcopal identity through their work and dedication to the Baltimore community. Paul's Place aims to improve the quality of life in the Washington Village and Pigtown neighborhoods by providing programs, services, and support to strengthen individuals and families and foster hope. Civic Works, reflecting our green school commitment in addition to Episcopal values, is committed to creating a more sustainable, economically viable, and environmentally responsible agricultural sector in the city.
"The group from St. Paul's Schools was great," shared Jenny Katz, Volunteer Coordinator at Civic Works. "They worked on building a pathway where a sidewalk was missing. They also built a garden bed and planted trees in a vacant lot. They were very enthusiastic and always ready for the next task!"
Jayna Powell, Volunteer Coordinator at Paul's Place, echoed the sentiment. "Volunteers don't only do the tasks, but they do them in a way that shares dignity and respect with all of our guests," shared Powell. "The St. Paul's team took that to heart and brought a wonderful positive energy to our dining room as they served a meal to our guests! They even stepped up and ran the dish room. That is hard work, and they did it with smiles and grace. It was such a gift to be able to give our dish washer a day off. St Paul's made that happen!"
Most heartening, however, were the reactions from our students who participated in the Day of Service.
"I love serving at Paul's Place and bringing a smile to people's faces," said Amira Jowers '18. "When I worked in the marketplace, I helped a woman find the right outfit for her job, and it felt good."
Reid Sheehan '17 said, "From the moment we stepped foot inside Paul's Place, their motto, 'with dignity and respect,' was clear. I was able to see this even more in my job of sorting clothes, as only the best were kept for those in need so that they could walk around with pride."
Angelina Baran '19 said of her Civic Works experience, "One thing in particular that stood out to me was the sense of collaboration and teamwork that I both observed and participated in. Watching everyone work together touched me and made me realize how special it was to a part of the experience!"
Click here to see photos from the day.