Volunteers paint 100 murals at Kensington High School for MLK Day

Kensington High School biology teacher Victoria Erickson (right) and her friend Megan Nardi, work on a mural on Kensington High School's ground floor.

Kensington High School biology teacher Victoria Erickson (right) and her friend Megan Nardi, work on a mural on Kensington High School's ground floor. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

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

Volunteers wait in line to be registered by City Year Philadelphia members for the MLK Day of Service at Kensington High School. About 1200 gathered to paint 100 murals. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Wissahickon High School student Kasi Brown paints the background of a mural in a stairwell of Kensington High School. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
In a Kensington High School hallway, Deloitte employees (from bottom, right) Marcus Bost, Tristan Kowalski, Steve Delaney, and Derrick Evan paint a tiger, the school’s mascot, during the MLK Day of Service. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Drexel student Abbie Briskin works on a mural on the ground floor of Kensington High School during the MLK Day of Service. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
1200 volunteers joined City Year Philadelphia team members to paint 100 murals at Kensington High School during the MLK Day of Service. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

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.

Angela Busch, a Comcast employee, claps along with City Year Philadelphia members leading a cheer during orientation at the MLK Day of Service. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Nia Collins Davenport covers the Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” during the orientation for volunteers at the MLK Day of Service at Kensington High School. Davenport is a member of Rock To The Future, a non-profit that provides music education to underserved Philadelphia youth. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
City Year Philadelphia member Wanda Tarvin helps register many of the 1,200 volunteers who participated in the MLK Day of Service. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Following orientation groups dispersed throughout the school picking up paint brushes and rollers along the way.

Paint captain Cameryn Dewes hands out paint containers to volunteer muralists. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Numbered paint containers used for the murals. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

The walls of the school gym were painted, while at center court, a woodworking area was set up where volunteers assembled bookshelves.

Volunteers paint the walls of Kensington High School’s gym. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Students from Ursinus College assemble a bookcase. The students are members of the Bonner Scholars Program which supports community service by college students. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

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.

A completed portrait of Angela Davis is one of 100 murals painted in the school during the MLK Day of Service at Kensington High School. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
An artist puts the finishing touches on a portrait of Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

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.

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