First annual WSSD MLK Day of Service promises community, compassion, cake

Planning to attend the first district-wide day of service on Monday, Jan. 16? Don’t forget to bring socks.


For the upcoming Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the district has planned not a day off but a day on, in which students and staff will participate in activities to help and strengthen the WSSD community. 

At Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille’s previous position as Superintendent of Cheltenham School District, students engaged in a plethora of service activities ranging from assembling food and crafts, to making flash cards and literacy bags for the elementary school’s kindergarteners, to volunteering at community homeless shelters and local park cleanups. 

This year, Dr. Marseille has a similar schedule planned for WSSD. 

A district-wide Day of Service is set to take place at the middle school on Monday, Jan. 16 from 8:30 to 12:30.

The day will begin with an assembly in the middle school auditorium with a speaker and student performances that speak to MLK’s legacy. Following this, the schools will work together on projects aimed at strengthening the community through active service and civic engagement.

The project has been in the making for over a year according to Marseille.

“There was a strong desire to facilitate a district-wide MLK Day of Service,” Marseille said. “Each school is working to identify service projects that could be facilitated during that day led by students and community members.”

As for the high school, facilitator Herr Alex Paul organized student leaders to sign up for service projects at the Monday event. Student Council is planning hands-on craft tables for neighborhood children. Minithon is organizing a card-making table for pediatric cancer patients, and the Young Activists Coalition is partnering with local nonprofit, The Joy of Sox, to assemble a community-wide sock drive for the homeless.

MLK Day is one of Dr. Marseille’s favorite holidays, although he strongly wishes that the day be viewed as more than just an ordinary break.

“In my previous districts,  MLK Day of Service was always a day on and not a day off,” he said. “I am hoping that students and families come together to celebrate MLK’s legacy through service to others.” 

According to the agenda on the WSSD website, breakfast will be provided at the Monday Jan. 16 day of service, as well as cake and refreshments at the end of the event.