On Thursday, Jan. 12, the Waynesville R-VI School District participated in the 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, facilitated by AmeriCorps  and AmeriCorps VISTA members.

“It is great to see the unity that this year's MLK Day of Service brought to the district and the surrounding community,” said Todd Whalen, director of the Community Resource Office.  “All schools participated in one way or another, which says a lot about our willingness to recognize and serve those in need.  I think Dr. King would have been proud of the efforts put forth by our students, staff and volunteers.”

Waynesville High School and Waynesville Sixth Grade Center served off campus at 10 different sites, including, Waynesville Animal Shelter, Life Care Center of Waynesville, Waynesville Public Library, Waynesville-St Robert Senior Center, Good Samaritan of the Ozarks, Wood Elementary, East Elementary and Williams Early Childhood Center.

All Waynesville Middle School students had the opportunity to create usable items to be donated to various non-profit agencies, students, faculty, and community members. Students chose from 17 stations led by AmeriCorps members. They created things such as dog toys for the shelters; hand scrub for cafeteria staff; flashcards and playdough for pre-k students; oatmeal packs for a supplemental food program; thank you and valentine cards for military, police officers, firefighters and senior citizens; placemats for the homebound; blessing bags for the homeless; and cookies for the military.  Two of the most popular stations were the playdough and the dog toys, made from old t-shirts donated by Good Samaritans of the Ozark and Dixon Caring Center. Piney Ridge students also had the opportunity to create usable items by making dog biscuits for the local animal shelters.

Three of the elementary schools had Waynesville High School students assisting in physical eduation programs and serving within the classrooms. Others participated in a “Random Acts of Kindness” program and learned more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

Pick students will be assisting with the delivery of the items created by the Waynesville Middle School and Piney Ridge students.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Waynesville R-VI School District students are a fine example of the dedication to serve, help others, and lead a community as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once did.