University of Pittsburgh
January 15, 2004

Pitt Jumpstart to Participate in Martin Luther King Day of Service

More than 80 Pitt students will honor King by creating resources for Pittsburgh children and their families
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Across the United States, service organizations like the University of Pittsburgh Jumpstart Program are volunteering to promote citizenship and volunteerism to honor Martin Luther King.

Pitt Jumpstart AmeriCorps members and other Pitt students will create approximately 1600 family activity packets and literary resources for the children and families served by Jumpstart, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 19 in the William Pitt Union Kurtzman Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. In addition, a program of reflection will follow from 3 to 4 p.m., also in the Kurtzman Room.

"Martin Luther King said, 'Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.' We honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by doing things that help children, thus strengthening our community," said Angela Gordon, program director of Jumpstart Pittsburgh.

The family activity packets include the materials needed for completing an activity with the child, directions on how to complete the activity, an explanation of how the activity relates to success in school, and a suggestion for a book that relates to the activity.

Sarah John, program specialist for the Pennsylvania Service-Learning Alliance, will lead the one-hour program of reflection to give the volunteers the opportunity to process and share their experiences and to relate how their lives have been changed by the teachings of King.

A moment of silence also will be observed in honor of the late Carma Reed, a Pittsburgh AmeriCorps member and Duquesne University student who was killed in a drive by shooting on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Sixty-seven University of Pittsburgh students are currently enrolled as Jumpstart Pittsburgh Corps members and have been working with preschool children since October. Each Pitt student involved with Jumpstart Pittsburgh spends a minimum of 11 hours a week in preschool classrooms. During this time, each corps member works one-to-one with a child. In addition, corps members provide attention to all classroom children and assist the preschool teacher.

For more information on the day of service, call Angela Gordon at 412-523-0317.