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1/13/2012 - Jackson, Miss.

America Reads Mississippi members help brighten their communities through service.The America Reads Mississippi (ARM) AmeriCorps program will celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday as “A Day On, Not A Day Off” by recruiting volunteers to serve in their communities.

ARM members across the state have planned community service projects to honor Dr. King’s legacy by helping others through service. ARM members in the Jackson area will restore playgrounds, assist with community painting and community clean-ups, and host an anti-bullying rally.

The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves individuals closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?”

ARM started its 14th year of operation on August 1, 2011 to serve students in public schools and local communities in an effort to improve literacy. ARM was fully recruited with 350 AmeriCorps members serving at 74 school sites across Mississippi. Funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, ARM is monitored and supported by the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service and is administered through the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

ARM has trained and placed volunteers from local Mississippi communities in partnering schools statewide to serve as full-time reading tutors for first grade through third grade, and in some middle schools. ARM also has a small number of quarter-time high school students who serve as community volunteers. ARM members and partnering schools are supported through the six university regional ARM offices at Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Contact ARM Special Projects Coordinator Nikitna Barnes 601-432-6110 or nbarnes@mississippi.edu for more information about MLK Day projects in your area.

CAPTION FOR PHOTO: America Reads Mississippi members help brighten their communities through service.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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