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Students honor King Jr.

Two Texas fifth-graders were featured on NBC’s Today show yesterday as the national winners in oratory competition in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose legacy lives on after he died on April 4, 1968. The winners showed their prowess in rhetoric as they were interviewed on TV.
Locally, to honor the late civilian rights leader, 67 students from Pulaski Middle School had no time for rhetoric. Instead, they made yesterday a day of service to the community. From 10 a.m. until noon, eight of the students were at the Daily Bread, helping in meal preparations, serving the clients and putting tables and chairs away; and cleaning up after the clients had left.
At the Pulaski YMCA, 10 of them took turns cleaning the swimming pool and raking leaves and debris outside the building. Fifteen were assigned to the Pulaski Health Center where they saw first-hand how to care for the sick and the elderly.
The rest of the students lent their helping hands at the Friends of the Pulaski Library, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and the Pulaski County Humane Society. As Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great, because everyone can serve.”
The students who volunteered for community service took a lunch break and regrouped with friends, relatives and guests, at 7 p.m. at the auditorium of Pulaski Middle School as culmination of their work and to celebrate the life of the famous civil rights leader.
Introduction of the speakers and segments of the hour-long program was by Dr. Karanita Ojomo, an oncologist at the Pulaski Community Hospital, who reiterated Dr. King’s philosophy that one need “not have a college education, or the brains of Einstein” in order to serve.
Eric Bucey, who put last night’s program together along with Sam Hensley, both of Beans and Rice, recounted the students’ day of service and congratulated them.
Part of the program was a skit, aided by Americorps member Kali Williams, where each student from the Beans and Rice after-school program stated what his or her dream was.
Businessman, George Penn, owner of the Penn Funeral Home, recalled his own experiences as an African-American growing up, and going to school in Pulaski County in 1961. “We have come a long way,” he intoned at one point, and then added, “but we still have a long way to go… .”
Toward the end of the program, several members from Pulaski High School and Middle schools performed their Freedom Dance, followed by a short speech by student Summer Finley. The individual student who participated in community service was each given an appreciation certificate by Americorps Kali Williams and Katie Bennett.
The program closed with the audience singing “We Shall Overcome,” led by Ms. Valerie Patterson.

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Students honor King Jr.

Two Texas fifth-graders were featured on NBC’s Today show yesterday as the national winners in oratory competition in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose legacy lives on after he died on April 4, 1968. The winners showed their prowess in rhetoric as they were interviewed on TV.
Locally, to honor the late civilian rights leader, 67 students from Pulaski Middle School had no time for rhetoric. Instead, they made yesterday a day of service to the community. From 10 a.m. until noon, eight of the students were at the Daily Bread, helping in meal preparations, serving the clients and putting tables and chairs away; and cleaning up after the clients had left.
At the Pulaski YMCA, 10 of them took turns cleaning the swimming pool and raking leaves and debris outside the building. Fifteen were assigned to the Pulaski Health Center where they saw first-hand how to care for the sick and the elderly.
The rest of the students lent their helping hands at the Friends of the Pulaski Library, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and the Pulaski County Humane Society. As Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great, because everyone can serve.”
The students who volunteered for community service took a lunch break and regrouped with friends, relatives and guests, at 7 p.m. at the auditorium of Pulaski Middle School as culmination of their work and to celebrate the life of the famous civil rights leader.
Introduction of the speakers and segments of the hour-long program was by Dr. Karanita Ojomo, an oncologist at the Pulaski Community Hospital, who reiterated Dr. King’s philosophy that one need “not have a college education, or the brains of Einstein” in order to serve.
Eric Bucey, who put last night’s program together along with Sam Hensley, both of Beans and Rice, recounted the students’ day of service and congratulated them.
Part of the program was a skit, aided by Americorps member Kali Williams, where each student from the Beans and Rice after-school program stated what his or her dream was.
Businessman, George Penn, owner of the Penn Funeral Home, recalled his own experiences as an African-American growing up, and going to school in Pulaski County in 1961. “We have come a long way,” he intoned at one point, and then added, “but we still have a long way to go… .”
Toward the end of the program, several members from Pulaski High School and Middle schools performed their Freedom Dance, followed by a short speech by student Summer Finley. The individual student who participated in community service was each given an appreciation certificate by Americorps Kali Williams and Katie Bennett.
The program closed with the audience singing “We Shall Overcome,” led by Ms. Valerie Patterson.

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