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1/18/2013 - Jackson, Miss.

Many students are out of school and some employees are off work on the day set aside to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate his memory with “A Day On, Not A Day Off” by being a part of a service initiative.

America Reads Mississippi (ARM) AmeriCorps members will celebrate the greatness of Dr. King through service starting this weekend. ARM members have recruited volunteers across the state to participate in community projects that will help build their communities. Volunteers will assist with projects like constructing outside classrooms, weatherizing and clean up of local resident’s homes, organizing clothes closets, serving in soup kitchens, creating literacy booklets for students participating in the Headstart early education program, assisting with anti-bullying rallies, and teaching leadership skills to youth.

“The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one that encourages service and concern for our communities at large and each other in particular,” said Ronjanett Taylor, ARM state program director. “ARM seeks to exemplify service and community concern each day through its work and in particular on MLK Day by organizing projects for individuals, especially youth, to be engaged in making a difference.”

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

There are currently 363 full-time and quarter-time members who serve in 74 school sites. ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with six 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. For more information about America Reads Mississippi visit americareadsms.org.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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