Community Celebrates MLK Jr. with Service and Reflection

Music, poetry, reflection, self-examination, and service engulfed the New Hampton School community on Tuesday as students and faculty pressed the pause button on the daily routine and engaged in a “day on” in celebration of the life of Martin Luther King. Jr.

Tuesday’s events included a keynote address from Dr. Bertha Perkins, the founder and pastor of New Fellowship Baptist Church in Nashua. She has been involved in community outreach events for the past 30 years. Dr. Perkins’ speech (click here to view a video excerpt) set the tone for the ensuing service and reflection time. Advisor groups either performed a group service project or created a video on the themes related to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

The service projects included an array of initiatives including letter writing for causes in Haiti, service at the Ashland Community Center, help at the Lakes Region Community Center, letters to wounded soldiers, activities with the local elementary school, baking for the local food bank, a visit to a local school, office help with a non-profit that serves at-risk teens, making blankets for babies in intensive care, cards for elderly in Golden View Retirement Home, a clothing drive for global non-profit Lacrosse the Nations, women’s rights discussion and letter writing, Operation Gratitude, cards for hospitalized children, and efforts for the organization Free Rice.

After an all-school Community Dinner on Monday, students and faculty gathered in McEvoy Theater to watch MLK’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in its entirety. 

Tuesday’s program also included music that drew wonderful praise from Reverend Perkins. Mr. Masterson and student musicians performed tunes by Coldplay and Mumford and Sons and closed the assembly with “Amazing Grace.”  Mr. Menke also offered remarks (click here to read text) that included his personal reflection on growing up in a diverse community and attending a large public high school in Maryland which included a high percentage of students of color. Poetry and historical background on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. provided more context.  

Tuesday afternoon’s program included a screening of the ESPN Documentary “The 16th Man,” which chronicled the South African "Springbok" National Rugby Team and its impact on South Africa's transition from segregation to integration. View the photo album from the MLK Program, Music and Service.