By Sophia Kim
On January 21, Council Rock students enjoyed a day off from school for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Many students may have stayed at home to relax and take advantage of their free Monday, but in remembrance of the great service that Dr. King did for our country, several clubs in Council Rock North were active on MLK Day.
This year marked the 13th year Council Rock has held its annual CR CARES MLK event at CR South. Pennsylvania state Representatives Wendi Thomas and Perry Warren attended the event to recognize several students for their essays on the meaning of the special day.
An additional 300 or more students from around the district worked together in a multitude of activities including sorting food, writing cards, and drawing pictures to send to first responders and those serving in the U.S military, making blankets, and assembling CR CARES packages.
Members of CRN’s National Honors Society volunteered to help out with various aspects of the event. The students’ work assisted the Bucks County Emergency Shelter, Penndel Food Cupboard, Wrightstown Food Cupboard, Delaware Valley Veterans Home, and the military deployed at Camp Manio, Iraq.
The event seemed to instill enthusiasm and hope into many of the students involved. Ally Voutsinas and Julia Goroshko, two of the NHS members who volunteered at the event, felt fulfilled by what was accomplished that day.
Voutsinas helped elementary students write to first responders and U.S soldiers, and “came out of the event proud of our community for wanting to give back so enthusiastically.” She was happy to see that many students took the time out of their day off to come to the event.
Goroshko also saw the event as a wholesome experience after helping the children make blankets. While surrounded by the young students, she felt nostalgic for her elementary days and recalled that the kids were “so sweet and a pleasure to be around.”
Each year, this event not only allows high-schoolers to interact with elementary students, but also serves as a valuable opportunity for students to support the community they live in and learn about the people around them.
Goroshko mentioned that “...kids growing up should have knowledge of and understand everything that [Dr. King] did for our country.” Thus, MLK Day is a chance for us to stop thinking of ourselves and instead start thinking of how we could improve our society.
Voutsinas reflected that all of us at Council Rock are very fortunate but often times take our lifestyles for granted. “MLK day gives us a chance to truly give back to our community.”
Throughout the week before MLK Day, the American Red Cross Club also served the community by collecting lightly used winter clothing pieces. Club members placed bags in each homeroom for clothing donations such as hats, gloves, and scarves for those in need.
Finally, several members of CRN’s Diversity Advisory Committee will be attending the 6th annual Bucks County Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit conference in honor of MLK Day. Because of weather conditions, the event was moved from January to March, so if you are interested in attending, be on the lookout for new information. Various speakers will discuss race and prejudice. The conference is open for 7th through 12th graders.
Perhaps the best way to honor Dr. King and his message of service, though, is to get involved yourself. You can help out your community in a number ways. Consider donating food or clothing to organizations such as the American Red Cross, volunteering at facilities such as soup kitchens, or just being considerate of and respectful to your peers. Also, consider volunteering at next year’s CR CARES event at CR South.
Each day is a new opportunity to remember Dr. King’s values and continue his legacy through your actions, big or small.