By Kary Feick

Madonna Students shared their hearts on Martin Luther King Remembrance Day by volunteering their time.

A group of Madonna students gathered early Monday morning at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for the annual Martin Luther King Junior Remembrance Day volunteer event. Two Madonna student groups stayed at UM-Dearborn while others traveled to volunteer organizations around metro Detroit.

Volunteers at Beyond Basics, an organization focused on teaching literacy to children, made book covers and art posters. The book covers will be given to children to keep their stories in. The Art with the Masters program, another opportunity with Beyond Basics, taught volunteers to make small posters for children to paste their art work on and showcase their talent.

Madonna students were very excited to help.

“It gives us a chance to help the community, and especially at Madonna we are taught to expand our horizons, and be community nurses, so we enjoy getting out and helping,” said Jessica Alderman, Nursing student.

An eager nursing student nearby agreed.

“It feels good to give back to the community,” said Jennifer Lee.

“Especially the kids,” contributed Kaitlyn William.

Beyond Basics believes that “a competent student ultimately means a successful and productive adult.” Currently, “both Arizona and California calculate future prison needs based on the rate of illiteracy. In both states if a child is not reading in the fourth grade, the state will begin to budget building another jail cell for that child," according to the Beyond Basics informational brochure, donated by Media Genesis.

Students who helped with Motor City Blight Busters painted a creative arts studio. The organization recruits volunteers and dedicates its time to improving the Motor City, especially run-down areas. Teamwork became an essential part of the day here, due to the amount of painting student volunteers completed.

Even though the cold winter temperature was present, students lit up with excitement about their work.

“I’m just really looking forward to making the world a better place,” said Laura Tonch, a UM-Dearborn student. Tonch worked on a team with others to create designs and paint the plain, white walls of the studio.

Beyond the service work, opening and closing ceremonies made an encouraging impact, setting a mood during the day.

During the opening ceremony, City Year, another volunteer organization in Detroit, demonstrated its volunteer physical training routine, reminding the MLK Day volunteers that the city of Detroit is always ready.

Even Chris Benson, Madonna’s Associate Dean of Academic Advising and First-Year Experience, got involved in the “front, side, back, side, front” performance, directed by City Year.


Madonna students reach out during annual MLK Day of Service