More than 700 members of our school community and the local community came to campus on the morning of Monday, January 20 to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in our Let Your Life Speak: King Day of Service & Social Justice Symposium. The crowd gathered in the Muller Auditorium for the opening ceremony, where Head of School Rich Nourie and co-clerks of the event Andrea Emmons and Mikael Yisrael spoke, and current parents and students recited poetry and relevant quotations. Lower School Music Teacher Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger moved the crowd with a stirring rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come,” ending with a standing ovation from the crowd.
This year was the first time AFS expanded the day to include a Social Justice Symposium which made for an inspiring day of community-building and truly embraced Dr. King’s vision and mission. In addition to service projects, the day included faculty-led workshops, a resource fair and a special closing program performed by “Key Arts Productions.”
Service project volunteers spread out across the campus and made soup; created blankets, hats and scarves; assembled activity kits for children; cooked hot meals; built pollinator houses; sorted books and much more. Their work benefited 20 of our partners that give service to those in need. While the majority of the service work took place in the school, some participated at A Step Up Academy, the Abington Meeting and at Girard College, the flagship center of “MLK Day of Service” activity in Philadelphia. You can see more photos from the day in our Facebook album and on Vidigami (for AFS families only).