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Burnet CISD students learn value of helping others on MLK Day of Service

Burnet High School students help the HARTH Foundation

Burnet High School students help the HARTH Foundation during a Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The foundation offers equine-based therapy. Courtesy photo

While many students enjoyed time off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17, the Burnet High School softball and track teams spent the day grooming horses, working around the barn, and lending a hand at the HARTH Foundation facility, where the organization offers equine-based therapy.

The athletes and other students in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District were participating in a Day of Service in honor of the holiday, helping around their communities.

“BCISD has been participating in MLK Day of Service for four years,” said Burnet High School teacher Caity Clinton, who helps coordinate the effort. “Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed in Burnet CISD as a ‘day on, not a day off.’”

Students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade participated. Clinton said some students helped around their campuses, while others headed into the community to volunteer.

Burnet High School students help Living Grace Canine Ranch
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Burnet High School students participated in a Day of Service, volunteering on their campuses and in the community, including at Living Grace Canine Ranch in Bertram. Courtesy photo

“The district’s goal is for students to learn about the contributions and sacrifices of Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in service projects,” Clinton added.

Students wrote letters to under-appreciated or overlooked members of their communities, fixed garden areas on campuses, served meals to BCISD staff, or cleaned horse stalls. 

The goal of the day is to show young people the value of serving others.

Bertram Elementary School students took part in a number of projects. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students brought loose change to donate to the Joann Cole Mitte Memorial Library in Bertram, Principal Alicia Harris said. The youngsters donated more than $170.

First- through second-grade students wrote notes or letters to campus custodial staff, cafeteria and front office staff, local veterans, and nursing home residents. Fourth-graders cleaned up around campus, and fifth-graders shared the positive message of “We Have a Dream” through an art installation on the campus fence along FM 243.

Bertram Elementary School second-graders
Bertram Elementary School second-graders wrote letters to Bertram-area veterans on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as part of the school district’s Day of Service. Courtesy photo

“Young children are naturally drawn to helping,” Harris said. “The Day of Service channels that energy into productive projects that make a difference for our community and our school. We hope that the students find meaning and importance within themselves.”

BCISD students and staff don’t stop volunteering once MLK Day of Service is over. 

“To keep the spirit of service alive throughout they year, we encourage students to regularly find opportunities to notice others, show appreciation, and find ways to be helpful,” Harris said. “We emphasize that service to others can be in the small, spontaneous things we do to take care of one another and our community.”

The day is a jumping-off point for helping others and learning about King and his work.

“On Jan. 27, we will educate students about Martin Luther King Jr. and his belief that life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Clinton added. 

daniel@thepicayune.com