• Groups use Martin Luther King, Jr. day as day of service

    By: Preston Jones


    TULSA, Okla. - Several hundred volunteers in west Tulsa turned the Martin Luther King holiday into a day of service.
    The nonprofit City Year held an event at Daniel Webster High School to paint the halls and build school pride.
    “I think it's really important to not just talk about having change happen in the neighborhood, but also be a part of it,” volunteer Daniel May said.
    That's what brought May and all the other volunteers out to Webster.
    “For City Year, Martin Luther King Jr. day is a day on, not a day off,” said Tom McKeon, director of City Year Tulsa.
    Volunteers were on their feet, painting the halls and beautifying the campus.
    “We have 2,800 corps members plus thousands and thousands of volunteers engaged in some sort of service across the country,” McKeon said.
    But City Year plays a much bigger role on the campus at Webster.
    “The City Year corps members are here every day,” Principal Shelly Holmansaid.
    The organization has AmeriCorps workers in six Tulsa Public Schools.
    “(They're) mentoring students, working with them one on one, greeting them, greeting the staff,”  Holman said.
    “(We want) to really focus on improving attendance and behavior, core competencies in mathematics and English,” McKeon said.
    It started with City Year looking at some of the most distressed neighborhoods in Tulsa.
    “The Webster feeder pattern happens to be one of the most distressed areas of Tulsa,” Holman said.
    On this holiday, City Year is bringing new life to the walls of Webster, but Holman said the organization brings much more year-round.
    “It means so much that we have kids and core members here from the community to put some focus and emphasis in west Tulsa and on Webster High School,” Holman said.

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