Lawrence University students, faculty, staff and local alumni did their part to turn the annual Martin Luther King holiday from a day off to a day of service.

Working with several local organizations, including the Appleton Boys and Girls Club and the Appleton school district, 169 Lawrence volunteers contributed 507 hours of service on Monday (1/16).

A total of 630 area students participated in a special age-appropriate curriculum focused on diversity and social justice issues that was developed by Marika Straw ’13.  The program, led by Lawrence volunteers, included a variety of hands-on activities to bring Dr. King’s message to area youth.

“The students chose to focus their efforts this year on supporting youth in the community and were very pleased to partner with all seven local after-school sites of the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley,” said Kristi Hill, LU director of volunteer and community service programs. “Lawrentians are very involved with both this organization and the Appleton Area School District and seem to be increasingly concerned by the lack of funding and overall support of educational initiatives. In response, our students worked with club staff to develop activities that would allow Lawrentians to support K-12 youth and give the hard working staff of the club a bit of a break.

Gabrielle Rakidzich '15 (left) and Emily Crowe '14 were among 169 LU volunteers who participated in Monday's Martin Luther King Day of Service activities. (Photo by Emma Moss '13.)

“I can say with absolutely certainty that Lawrentians gained just as much from this day as the youth,” Hill added.  “Students returned to campus with both humorous stories and some more serious stories of important discussions that occurred around the topic of fairness.”

In addition to school activities, a team of volunteers repainted an affordable housing unit owned by the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities while 16 students helped winterize the Heckrodt Nature Center.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.