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1/18/2010 - Jackson, MIss.

America Reads Mississippi (ARM) will celebrate Martin Luther King Day as "a day on, not a day off" by recruiting volunteers to serve in communities across Mississippi.

Volunteers and ARM members at 89 different sites in Mississippi will participate in projects ranging from serving in soup kitchens to building and painting houses.

"Dr. King encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by taking action to make this country a better place to live," said Ronjanett Taylor, ARM state program director. "We will honor his legacy by doing exactly what he instructed in our own communities."

ARM is an AmeriCorps program focused on improving reading skills of students, encouraging public awareness and support of literacy, and increasing the number of certified teachers in Mississippi.

There are currently 350 full-time members who serve in 89 school sites. ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with five of Mississippi's public universities.

ARM oversight at the state level is a joint effort through the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service and the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). The IHL Board of Trustees, which governs public universities, has committed to helping ensure students are ready for college and teachers receive first-rate training at universities across the state.

To find out more about service projects in your area, contact Nikitna Barnes at (601) 540-7820 or nbarnes@mississippi.edu. For more information about America Reads Mississippi visit www.americareadsms.org.


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