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Kent Place Students Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Day of Service

On Monday, January 19, the Kent Place Diversity and Equity Parent Group hosted the fifth annual community-wide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service to celebrate, reflect and serve in the name of Dr. King’s legacy. For this year’s Day of Service, themed “Understanding and Responding to Homelessness in Our Community,” Kent Place collaborated and joined forces with Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless (MESH, Inc.) and the North Jersey Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
“The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service was a great success thanks to the efforts of our Diversity and Equity Parent Group,” stated Henaz Bhatt, Kent Place Director of Diversity. “As Dr. King reminded us: ‘Poverty is one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.’ Our goal on Monday was to demonstrate our will.”
Both students and adults developed a better understanding of the issues of homelessness and hunger by engaging in a “Homeless and Hunger Awareness Fair” led by the MESH, Inc. Tables were set up in the Kent Place Middle School with activities to educate families about homelessness.
During the day, volunteers also collected and organized shoes, toiletries and made sustainable lunches for those struggling with homelessness. Shoes collected will be donated to MESH Inc. and to Traveling Soles, Kent Place eighth grader Madison Hobbs’s Girls’ Leadership Institute action project. Toiletries and sustainable lunches will be donated to Bridges Outreach, Inc. More than 300 sustainable lunches, 20 boxes of shoes and five large bins of toiletries were collected.
Bhatt continued, “As conversations about race, equity and justice continue nationally, we hope to always model a safe space for students to engage in the dialogue in meaningful ways—on MLK Day and beyond!”

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