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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

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DSC_1624St. James School hosted its 6th annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The theme for this year’s day was A Day to Act, Not a Day Off which included prayer, reflection, education and action.

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Special guest Brucelee Sterile spoke to students, encouraging them to “be great!”

The morning began with students, staff, parents, volunteers and community members gathering for a prayer service in the Church of St. James the Less, singing the hymn Blessed Martin, Pastor, Prophet about the life of Dr. King. Friend of the school, athlete, and business leader Brucelee Sterile shared his inspiring personal story. He encouraged each student to “be great” and stressed the importance of self-motivation, giving back, and humility. Sterile is the son of long-time neighborhood supporter Todd Rose, President and CEO of Telrose Corporation.

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St. James parent Ms. Watson provided her personal and moving reflection

Ms. Watson, parent and advocate for justice, also offered a moving reflection on Dr. King’s life and his legacy in our society today. Ms. Watson reminded the St. James School Community how much has been accomplished and yet how much work remains to realize the vision of Martin Luther King. To conclude the service, students read some of Dr. King’s most famous quotes to remind us of all that he believed and fought for, and sang We Shall Overcome.

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Fifth grade student Naje speaks passionately about inequality in her education as compared to students in more affluent areas

After the prayer service, everyone returned to the school for four workshops about current social issues that teachers and staff identified as issues that Dr. King himself would be standing up for if alive today. Students, staff, parents, and volunteers worked together to discuss the topics of bullying, voting, education inequality, and positive psychology/non-violence action. Each workshop concluded with the students and guests committing to take action to address each social issue.

St. James is grateful for the family and community members who took their day to honor Dr. King’s legacy of activism and to make the day so effective and special.

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Groups consider ways they can be more active in advancing their equality in education