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updated: 1/20/2014 5:31 PM

Day of Service expanded to more than one day

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  • Youth leader Toma Kpandeyenge, of South Elgin, poses questions about Martin Luther King Jr. to members of the Living Gospel Youth Group Monday afternoon in the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin. Students were treated to lunch, a video about King, and engaged in conversation about the legacy of the civil rights leader, before heading to the pool to top off the day.

       Youth leader Toma Kpandeyenge, of South Elgin, poses questions about Martin Luther King Jr. to members of the Living Gospel Youth Group Monday afternoon in the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin. Students were treated to lunch, a video about King, and engaged in conversation about the legacy of the civil rights leader, before heading to the pool to top off the day.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Gina Clements of Elgin, right, answers a question during a table discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. Monday with other members of the Living Gospel Youth Group including her brother Chevelle, at left. Dozens of youths from local schools, churches and other civic groups attended a luncheon in the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin, the culmination of their volunteer work during the Day of Service event to honor the legacy of the civil rights leader.

       Gina Clements of Elgin, right, answers a question during a table discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. Monday with other members of the Living Gospel Youth Group including her brother Chevelle, at left. Dozens of youths from local schools, churches and other civic groups attended a luncheon in the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin, the culmination of their volunteer work during the Day of Service event to honor the legacy of the civil rights leader.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
By Christopher Hankins
chankins@dailyherald.com

The legacy of service to others embodied by Martin Luther King Jr. was alive and well for Fox Valley-area students this past week, and Monday was a chance to celebrate their Day of Service efforts.

Rose Reinert, community outreach liaison for the Greater Elgin Family Care Center who emceed the program and luncheon at The Centre of Elgin, said Day of Service was expanded to several days this year, rather than just having students get involved Monday.

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"We wanted to increase the number of kids that could potentially participate," Reinert said. "We had over 150 kids throughout (last) week that did service projects."

Projects included making Valentine's Day cards for seniors and working at local food pantries.

"(Monday was) all about celebrating, reminding ourselves why (Monday) is a day of service." Reinert said.

After taking part in service projects the past week, students were treated to lunch and swimming Monday afternoon at The Centre of Elgin. Students also had time to reflect on the impact King had on their lives.

Larkin High School sophomore Gina Clements, who attended the luncheon with other members of the Living Gospel Youth Group, said she took away an important lesson from helping out at a local food pantry last week.

"We fed people that don't really have enough food to survive," she said. "It felt good because I don't always finish my food all the time, so it made be think these people don't even have anything."

She said King's legacy was important to her in more ways than the service project.

"I'm mixed (race) with black and white, so if Dr. King never was born, and if he never did the march, then I wouldn't be here," she said.

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