LYNN — Students from the La Vida Scholar program in Lynn, in conjunction with North Shore Americorps, wanted to convey Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message that “life’s most urgent and persistent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”
The students, who were working alongside workers from Americorps at Monday’s eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, chose to paint a mural of positive and community-oriented stories from local newspapers as their message of service.
The day began at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute with opening remarks from Rep. Seth Moulton, Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee, and Lynn Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. More than 300 volunteers participated in service projects for all ages. Projects include a Lynn community clean-up, crafting valentines for veterans and seniors, writing letters to deployed soldiers, creating bookmarks for the Lynn Public Library, painting a King-inspired mural, collecting food items for a local food pantry, packing toiletry bags for the Lynn Plummer House and Lynn Shelter, serving a meal at My Brother’s Table, and participating in activities at local senior centers.
The mural on which the students were working contained squares for stories and pictures clipped from newspapers and taken from their websites.
“We used a lot of stories from The Daily Item in this mural,” said Lindsay Duff, one of the United Way workers who assisted the students with the project (United Way helped sponsor the event). “The reason for that was the Item is one of the few papers around that prints positive stories about what people are doing in Lynn.”
The gymnasium at Lynn Tech was filled with students, as well as younger and older adults, doing the various projects, all under the watchful eye of co-chairs Sean Cicero and Theresa DiGregorio.
Cicero, 26, said she grew up in a household that valued service to the community, and says that even though she’s from just outside of Worcester originally and now lives in Allston, she is connected to Lynn because she works with Americorps and the United Way on the North Shore.
As for the mural, which has King’s words about service written beneath the various stories and pictures, “we hope to have it travel from school to school,” said Kelly Aldinger, also from United Way. “We haven’t quite figured that out yet.”