The whine of circular saws and rhythmic banging of hammers was the soundtrack at the Harlem Park Recreation Center, and an adjacent middle school in Baltimore on MLK Day. Volunteers engaged in a wide variety of building restoration projects, such as painting lockers, refinishing doors and cabinets, building new bookcases, and painting classrooms. Similar activities took place at the Barclay Recreation Center and Barclay Elementary/Middle School. Multiple service sites were necessary for the Baltimore Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, which mobilized 211 volunteers in partnership with Volunteer Central, Civic Works, the Parks & Peoples Foundation, and Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks.
Thought-provoking imagery and cross-generational storytelling were the themes of the service projects coordinated by AmeriCorps Alums chapters across the state of Georgia. In LaGrange, Macon, Atlanta, Augusta and Fanin County the projects were centered on A Seat for Social Justice-- a project that transforms bus seats from symbols of oppression to canvasses of hope and optmism. AmeriCorps Alums decoupaged bus seats with images from the Civil Rights movement as a tribute to the legacy of that struggle. The Atlanta AmeriCorps Alums Chapter built upon that activity by involving senior citizens in the production of a documentary film, capturing their memories of the Civil Rights era. The senior citizens enjoyed telling stories, and the 129 volunteers in Atlanta and LaGrange were able to reflect on the deeper meaning of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Click here for a complete list of pictures.
Metro Detroit Chapter:
Giving young people an opportunity to share their ideas about diversity and community was the goal of the Tile Mural Project hosted by the Metro Detroit Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums. Seventeen adult facilitators led discussions about community assets with more than 300 school-age young people, and invited each of them to design a 4-inch square tile that illustrates what they value most about their neighborhood. The results were vividly-colored representations of friends, parks, schools, playscapes, animals, sports, neighbors, musical instruments, and much more. The project will continue with in-classroom tile-painting sessions throughout the spring, but with 138 completed tiles, the project is well on its way to the goal of 300 tiles for a May installation in the downtown business district. Click here for a complete list of pictures.
Thirty-six volunteers engaged in a series of service activities build around the theme of “dreambuilding” in Wyoming. The Wyoming Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums organized an essay contest for 8th to 12th graders in which they were asked to describe their dream for a community event built on unity and tolerance. Inspired by a speaker from the NAACP, young people were also encouraged to express their dreams for the world and their community by creating t-shirt designs. The participants further helped the community by assembling starter emergency kits.
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