More than 1,000 volunteers filled the four floors of Kensington High School Monday for the annual MLK Day of Service. The goal was to brighten the atmosphere of the 102-year old school with 100 murals throughout the building
The day of service, which honors Martin Luther King Jr.,was organized by City Year Philadelphia with the support of many Philadelphia-based corporate sponsors.
Volunteers of diverse ages, ethnicities, and background were joined by many of Kensington High School’s faculty. The day began with a 45-minute orientation which featured a performance by members of Rock To The Future, a non-profit that provides music education to students in underserved communities in Philadelphia.
Following orientation groups dispersed throughout the school picking up paint brushes and rollers along the way.
The walls of the school gym were painted, while at center court, a woodworking area was set up where volunteers assembled bookshelves.
Some of the murals featured inspiration quotes, by figures such as Pablo Neruda, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Other murals featured portraits of Malala Yousafzai, Angela Davis and Barack Obama.
More than 200 AmeriCorps members aged 18 to 25 are currently serving at City Year Philadelphia, providing tutoring and in-class support programs in 19 schools in the Philadelphia School District.
City Year has partnered with 29 urban public school systems throughout the United States and is affiliated with schools in the United Kingdom and in Johannesburg, South Africa.