NJDOE News

Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: January 12, 2001

New Jersey AmeriCorps Prepares for Martin Luther King Day Service Activities

New Jersey’s national service programs will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday on January 15 by participating in community service events around the state.

New Jersey AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America participants will join over 1.5 million national service participants nationwide in projects such as serving meals at homeless shelters, providing children with enrichment educational activities, painting murals, and sprucing up community centers.

"Dr. King inspired many citizens from all walks of life to become involved in the community and make sacrifices in order to make our nation a better place for all people," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "His spirit continues to inspire goodwill and community service."

Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994 to make the holiday a day of service that brings people together, promotes racial cooperation, and solves problems through citizen action.

In 1994, Congress passed legislation establishing Martin Luther King’s birthday as a day of service that brings people together, promotes racial cooperation, and solves problems through citizen action.

AmeriCorps is the national service program that provides Americans of all ages and backgrounds with education awards in exchange for a year or two of community service. The New Jersey Commission on National & Community Service, which is hosted by the New Jersey Department of Education, administers AmeriCorps.

"I encourage young people and adults to educate themselves and their communities about the work of Dr. King. We have all benefited from his legacy and we should enhance it through service," said Donald Bowling, chair of the Commission.

Learn & Serve America provides students, teachers and school districts with opportunities to participate in service-learning projects that integrate school-based learning and community service into school curricula. The State Department of Education also administers the Learn and Serve America in New Jersey.

A list highlighting service activities and sites is attached.

For additional information, contact Rowena Madden or Michael Gowdy at 609-633-9627.