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Martin Luther King Day Service Project: Maine Letters from Kids

January 9th, 2008

In his fight for civil rights, Dr. King inspired Americans to think beyond themselves, look past differences, and work toward equality. Serving side by side, community service bridges barriers between people and teaches us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.

These ideas of unity, purpose, and the great things that can happen when we work together toward a common goal are just some of the many reason we honor Dr. King. David Eisner, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said, "Martin Luther King said, 'Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.' We honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by doing things that help others and strengthen communities."

Together, the Maine Commission for Community Service, Maine Conservation Corps, and the VolunteerMaine VISTA Project have partnered to create a Martin Luther King Day service project that aims to honor Dr. King's life and legacy. The goal is to supply letters from Maine students in 4th through 7th grades to students in Iraq as a means of building peaceful bridges between our cultures for the future.

The project is looking for students to write letters to Iraqi children about hobbies, school activities, sports, family, or home life. This is an opportunity for Maine students to study, discuss, and/or reflect upon the principles of nonviolent action as a strategy for bringing about a stronger global or local community. This can be done in as little as one class period, and is applicable to the Maine State Learning Results for language arts and civic engagement. The project partners will collect the letters and facilitate the transportation to Iraq, the translation of the letters, and the delivery of the letters along with previously donated school supplies to Iraqi schoolchildren.