Voorhees Middle School kicks off first MLK service drive

School hopes to increase projects in the coming years

MATTHEW SHINKLE/The Sun

Voorhees Middle School recently created what some hope is just the beginning of a district initiative that has plenty of room to grow.

Individual classrooms and clubs may have done their own projects over the years in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, much like the middle school’s student council, which had an idea earlier this year to start a letter writing campaign directed at health care workers in the township.

After further discussion, the district was able to use the idea as a springboard to jumpstart multiple projects that will benefit areas around Voorhees, including a nearly month-long service drive in honor of King.

“Realizing that we have some students that may want to give in other ways, we decided to expand on it and incorporate other incorporations and charities within our community so that all students could be involved in a variety of ways,” said middle school Librarian Stacey Fulton.

In an email to all students and staff that links to a detailed presentation on the new school-wide initiative and the nine projects from which to choose, Fulton said students and staff can learn more about the specific donations and projects to benefit BookSmiles; Love Letters for Literacy; the Voorhees Animal Orphanage; the Voorhees Pediatric Facility; and Smiles From Kara, as well as ways to send letters of appreciation to essential township workers and Valentine’s Day cards to residents and staff at ManorCare nursing home.

According to Fulton, each one of the nine service projects will be reinforced by a school subject from Monday, Jan. 18, to Monday, Feb 15.

“We know that the more kids see things, the more inclined they are to participate in anything, so each project will be covered by a content area,” Fulton explained. “For example, health and physical education is going to be promoting donating new and used sports equipment to Smiles from Kara, while English teachers will promote our BookSmiles and Love Letters for Literacy projects.

“We tried to correlate to each content area so that teachers can more easily share and promote within their classrooms to increase participation,” she said.

With Voorhees Middle School attempting its first school-wide service initiative in honor of King, Fulton hopes the effort can grow and develop into a much bigger deal for the district and township moving forward.

“The hope moving forward is that, not only is this the first of many for us, but that we can also expand it to a district-wide initiative sometime in the future, and get the power of the community involved,” Fulton added.