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Local Students Put Citizenship and Service in Action

2015 January 23
by HandsOn Suburban Chicago
Participants of  Libros Por Ninos ( Books by Kids) helped translate books from English to Spanish at Indian Trails Library on MLK Day

Participants of Libros Por Ninos ( Books by Kids) helped translate books from English to Spanish at Indian Trails Library on MLK Day

(Wheeling, Ill.) –HandsOn Suburban Chicago yesterday led Wheeling middle school students in translating children’s books in volunteer service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.  These Wheeling students were joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country on this national day of service.

“Today we answer Dr. King’s call to serve and are making a difference in the lives of Wheeling residents,” said Brandon Massey, Schools Program Manager of HandsOn Suburban Chicago.  “A resourceful way to meet local needs, volunteer service is a powerful tool that builds strong communities.”

The project, Libros Por Niños (Books By Kids), combined education and service.  In a seminar format students learned about issues surrounding literacy, bi-literacy and the benefits of parents and adults reading with their children when they are young.  Students worked to translate children’s book from English into Spanish in order to provide access to these books for parents and children who are not fluent in English. These translations will be donated to an elementary school library, where students can check out the book and the translation so that they may read with their parents.

Libros Por Niños gave students the opportunity to give back to their community through their culture,” said Jaime Hermosillo, Parent and Community Engagement Coordinator from HandsOn Suburban Chicago. “By applying their bilingual skills these students ensured that others will have access to literature they might not otherwise have due to language barriers.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that leads the annual MLK Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, schools, and businesses nationwide.

These projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, reading to children, promoting nonviolence, and more.  The MLK Day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides— today and throughout the year.  Many communities will also engage in dialogue to explore ways they can address important issues.  National Days of Service provide each of us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.

For over 40 years, HandsOn Suburban Chicago (HOSC) has been inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to volunteer and take action that builds vibrant and prosperous communities. HOSC recruits and refers 10,000 volunteers annually to over 200 member agency nonprofits and schools, and provides other support to local charitable organizations, such as consultations and trainings. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency and part of the national HandsOn Network, HOSC service area includes 44  core communities in Chicagoland and a population of over 1.4 million residents.

The MLK Day of Service is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

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