Jan 24, 2018

MLK Jr. Day of Service teaches kids – and volunteers – lessons on inclusion and diversity

Woman helps two school children complete art project for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

About two dozen PPL volunteers read to students and participated in activities related to inclusion and diversity as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Mosser Elementary School in Allentown on Jan. 23.

For Rebecca Keim, an office space designer at PPL, the opportunity to interact with students was priceless.

“It was such a refreshing experience having the privilege of reading to the second-grade class and spending time with them as they created signs to honor Dr. King’s message that we are all equal. The students were kind and respectful, and they put their passion into designing and coloring their ideas of freedom. I left there with such joy, only exceeded by a positive outlook of hope,” said Keim.

Woman reads to elementary school students
PPL employee Tonya Harris reads to third-grade students at Mosser Elementary School in Allentown.

Mosser Elementary School Principal Tiffany Polek was equally pleased.

“Our students and staff were so excited and thankful to have visitors come in, read such powerful stories and spend some time with our students. We are always happy to welcome the community into our school to share all of the wonderful things we are doing!

“When our students look at the PPL building on Hamilton Street, they will remember the volunteer that visited their class. That’s pretty neat and makes it so much more than a ‘tall building,’” she said.

Brian Case, manager of corporate talent management, was assigned a fifth-grade class. After reading a chapter from “Because They Marched,” about teachers protesting for the right to vote, the students participated in an activity where they had 10 descriptions of different candidates for president.

“Based on the description, without pictures, the students needed to identify both the positives and the concerns about each candidate and then identify which candidate they would vote for if they were running for president,” said Case. “It was an interesting exercise and very telling to see the overwhelming majority of students ended up voting for Martin Luther King Jr. based on the description of his education, background, experience and what he stood for.”

About 500 students in grades K-5 benefited from the Day of Service coordinated by PPL. Thirty age-appropriate books were purchased and donated to all classrooms.