January 20, 2020 — For the YouthBuild Philly community, MLK Day represents a day of service, reflection and impact, rather than a day off. In honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., more than 200 YouthBuild Philly students, alumni, staff and community partners joined together to revitalize the hallways of Stephen Girard Elementary in South Philadelphia. YouthBuild Philly’s team of AmeriCorps Community Project Coordinators spearheaded the project for the eighth consecutive year, which included more than 60 murals of inspirational quotes and images that are guaranteed to brighten up the day of students for years to come. The day kicked off with a Village Meeting and time of reflection on the importance of service and Dr. King’s impact, with a profound reminder that “everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”
Take a look at some photos of everyone working together and putting service into action:
After a full day of teamwork, hallways, staircases and bathroom stalls of Stephen Girard Elementary are graced with motivational messages and vibrant images that will serve has gentle reminders to students of the bright futures ahead of them. See below for photos of some of the finished products:
Leah Coleman, Principal of Stephen Girard Elementary was especially grateful for YouthBuild Philly’s partnership with the school. “This is going to be an amazing opportunity for our students to walk into a fresh welcoming school environment. Our goal is always to make school as safe and comfortable for students as possible. This is something that’s just going to liven up their experience here, and make this school something that they are proud to be a part of.” Coleman added, “we wanted it to be something that’s reflective of the students and their interests. All of the quotes and images are small things that will keep the students going throughout the day. Ultimately, the students are going to be excited to see something that’s bright and colorful, as opposed to our walls which were kind of empty and bare.” School staff should appreciate the upgrades as well; “our teachers have been working very hard to liven up the building, and this is something that was an awesome support to our school and will help to move that work further along in a much quicker way. We’re excited about that,” Ms. Coleman says.
Days like MLK Day, would not be possible without the continued support of our community partners. Thanks to Saint-Gobain, Old Navy, Chase, DMi Partners and Young Friends of YouthBuild Philadelphia for joining us for an incredible day of impact. Special thanks to the Benjamin Moore Foundation for donating the paint and the local paint supplier (Colomy Paint & Decorating LLC. 210 W. Girard Ave. Philadelphia, PA) for supplying all of the paint for the day’s project. YouthBuild Philly appreciates you!
See below for more photos from the day of service: