“Service” will take the place of “study” on Monday, January 16, as Bryan observes its eighth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Day.
Students work during the 2011 MLK Day. More than 700 students, faculty, and staff will spread across Rhea County, mainly cleaning houses or churches, painting, raking yards, and even cleaning up after tornadoes that struck the county in April 2011.
Danielle Rebman, assistant director of faith and mission who coordinates MLK Day activities, said as a result of student comments, “we are concentrating more on more personal projects this year. We’ve had so many students come back and say having personal interaction with families or church members really brought home why we do this.”
The Bryan campus will be a site for two activities: a Pals play day for community children and their Bryan Pals, and an effort to encourage local children to come write a message of encouragement or draw a picture for military service members, Ms. Rebman said.
Two groups—the Hope for Opelousas (La.) Break for Change team and staff of the Adult and Graduates Studies programs—will travel to Bethel Bible Village in Chattanooga. Students will present a half-day program for residents in the home for children from families in crisis, and staff members will paint.
Ms. Rebman said Rev. Leroy Barber, who opened Bryan’s chapel series on ethnic diversity this past week, told her that the college’s MLK outreach reflects Dr. King’s statement in his “Drum Major” speech: “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”
“He pointed out as well that this type of service has a connection with Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet. We can all love and serve our neighbors,” she said.