Stay in School Initiative Teaches Students Lessons In Equality, Non-Violence on Martin Luther King Day

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

High school and middle school students and their mentors in the Exelon/ComEd/United Way Stay in School Initiative on Tuesday participated in a service event at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“We saw this as an excellent way to introduce Dr. King’s ideas in a unique setting that was new to many of our students,” Exelon Vice President of Corporate Relations Steve Solomon said.

Employee volunteers from Exelon, its subsidiary ComEd and more than 100 students engaged in mentor-led reflection periods, a survivors’ panel and in-depth discussions about Dr. King’s philosophy in relation to the Holocaust and the civil rights movement.

The day’s themes in non-violence resonated with the students who live in Chicago-area communities with high violence, dropout and truancy rates, including Humboldt Park/West Town, Austin, Cicero, Greater Grand Crossing, Chinatown, Bridgeport and North Lawndale.

As part of the program, two Holocaust survivors participated in a panel discussion about their experiences. Students worked with their mentors to develop questions for the panelists, who added a personal perspective to the museum tour.

“The combination of living history, Dr. King’s legacy, and community discussion will give our students a rich opportunity to further develop and advocate for peaceful strategies and affect positive change in their community,” United Way of Metropolitan Chicago Outreach and Diversity Coordinator Sofia Mendez said.

Exelon, ComEd and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago created the Stay in School Initiative in 2005. Through partnerships with six afterschool agencies, the program provides tutoring, social services, leadership and social engagement, skills building and parent workshops, serving approximately 17,000 students over an eight year period.

Comments are closed.