Youthbuild Philly Students to Repaint, Revitalize Elementary School on Martin Luther King Day

Philadelphia, PA – Jan 13, 2014 – More than 250 students, staff and volunteers from YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School will repaint classrooms, hallways and community spaces at Thomas G. Morton Elementary School (2501 S. 63rd Street) on Monday, January 20 to honor the life, legacy, and service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..  

Morton Elementary, a K-5 school that serves 800 students, has not been repainted in several years. Paint is currently peeling in some places and many of the classrooms and hallways have blank walls. Volunteers from YouthBuild Philly will spend the morning of January 20 painting engaging and meaningful murals throughout the school to make the space a brighter and friendlier learning environment.  The mural project will give special attention to the classrooms that house special education and autism support programs.

“The administration at Morton Elementary was so excited when we approached them with this project,” said YouthBuild Philly Director of Student Life Ameen Akbar. Mr. Akbar oversees YouthBuild Philly’s AmeriCorps and service learning programs. “They know the impact that an improved learning environment can have on learning itself. We’ve received that feedback from our own students. A welcoming and well-maintained space helps students feel valued and supported as they pursue their education.”

“Many of our students have been marginalized in the past, so it is all the more powerful for them to spend Martin Luther King Day helping Morton Elementary give children the quality education they deserve,” said Mr. Akbar.

Students and staff from YouthBuild Philadelphia will be joined by volunteers from VILLA and DMi Partners.

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is dedicated to service learning and reconnects youth to their education and community through civic engagement.  All YouthBuild Philadelphia students are part-time AmeriCorps members.  In the past 21 years, YouthBuild students have rehabilitated over 80 homes for low-income families, refurbished more than 3,000 computers for community organizations and schools, and provided thousands of volunteer hours to long-term care facilities and community organizations.  In 2009, YouthBuild Philadelphia was honored for its many years of involvement in the MLK Day of Service by the Eleventh Annual Harris Wofford Award Active Citizenship.

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About YouthBuild Philadelphia

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is an innovative alternative education program offering a second chance for former high school dropouts, ages 18-21, to earn their high school diploma while learning vital job skills. The comprehensive curriculum at YouthBuild combines rigorous academics, vocational training, community service, and counseling to help students establish and achieve post-secondary education and career goals. 

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