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For Release: January 8, 2003


January 3, 2003

TO:

Chief School Administrator, Public School District
Chief School Administrator, Nonpublic School
Charter School Lead Person

FROM:

William L. Librera, Ed.D.
Commissioner

SUBJECT:

Do Something Kindness and Justice Challenge

I am writing to ask for your help in challenging young people across New Jersey to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in the Do Something Kindness and Justice Challenge, a service learning and character education initiative in which students perform acts of kindness (helping others) and justice (standing up for what is right) for two weeks following the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday (January 19 through January 31, 2003).

The Do Something Kindness and Justice Challenge teaches young people important values such as responsibility, compassion, respect, nonviolence and moral courage, and inspires them to put these values into practice by performing acts of kindness and justice in their schools, homes and neighborhoods. Since 1998, more than four million students from all fifty states have participated in the initiative, proving small acts can make a big difference in people’s lives.

Do Something has served as a valued partner in New Jersey’s federal character education pilot project grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the past six years. Each of the last four years, New Jersey has led the nation in Kindness and Justice Challenge participation. For the year 2003, I invite you to assist us in working toward the goal to involve every young person in New Jersey. This program can complement current character education and service learning efforts in your schools.

We believe the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday should be more than a day off. It is an opportunity to inspire millions of young people to fulfill Dr. King’s legacy of kindness and justice and carry the torch of leadership into a new century. Thank you for your help in this effort. Together, we can inspire young people across New Jersey to dream of a better world and take action to make their dreams a reality. For more information you may visit Do Something online at www.dosomething.org or by contacting Grishma Shah at Do Something, (973) 424-4417.