• MLK Community Center

Adventure, Learning, & Gratitude: This Week at the MLK

Updated: May 8


THE MLK'S SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP: ADVENTURE AWAITS Students entering 1st grade through entering 5th grade are welcome to apply for a summer of fun & learning

It may seem far off with the weather we've had this week, but we swear – summertime is coming! So naturally, we're already dreaming of Summer Adventure Camp at the MLK, where summer = daily trips to the beach, twice-weekly sailing lessons at Sail Newport, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) enrichment activities, art and literacy, daily lesson plans & weekly science units taught by certified teaching staff so students are well-prepared for the school year ahead, daily field trips across Newport County, and much more! Generous financial assistance is available to offset the cost of camp, so all Newport County families with Elementary School-aged children are encouraged to inquire. Summer Adventure Camp is open to students entering 1st grade through those entering 5th grade. This 8-week program runs 8 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday, June 28th - August 20th and campers must register for all 8 weeks. Breakfast, lunch, and snack are included. The cost is $170 per week; DHS childcare subsidies are accepted. Thanks to generous MLK donors, financial assistance is available to any family needing it, so please inquire about scholarships. Space is limited, so register now! Our Summer Camp registration forms are available on our website. You're welcome to fill them out in advance and return them to Jeanine Richardson, After School & Summer Camp Coordinator, at, or call (401) 846-4828 with any questions.

Register Today!

THANK YOU, MLK TEACHERS Teacher Appreciation Week: May 3rd - May 7th

Pictured: After School teachers Peggy Leary (left) and Abbey Loughlin (right) help students with homework. (Photo, left: taken pre-COVID)

Our teachers have had a heck of a year – or, a heck of a past 14 months – to say the very least. Adapting to teaching among COVID-19 restrictions, closures, and distance learning is no easy feat. But, MLK educators have continuously taken it in stride, coming up with innovative ways to engage our kiddos and help them fall in love with learning, all while navigating the challenges of the pandemic with grace. The MLK's educators fill unique roles in our children's lives. Our Preschool teachers nurture our littlest learners. They craft lessons that spark children's curiosity, promote social and emotional growth, and set the foundation for a lifetime of learning: incredibly, the vast majority of MLK Preschoolers enter Kindergarten already knowing how to read, thanks to our incredible Preschool teachers.

Pictured: After School teacher Kiery Lopez provides individualized homework help to an After School students.

Our After School teachers see a different side of students: after whatever the day might have held, students come to the MLK for support. Some days students really need the support of homework help. Other days, some need the support of a listening ear. Our kids lean on the MLK's After School staff, in so many ways, and we can’t thank them enough for the good they do and the lives they've touched.

And, of course, there are our Summer Camp teachers, some of whom work at the MLK in our After School program during the school year. Although all of our Summer Camp teachers aren't on-site just yet, they play an integral role in students' lives. Our Summer Camp teachers work hard to ensure students avoid the summer learning slide by implementing engaging learning experiences that keep students improving academically throughout the summer. To our Summer Adventure Campers, it's not Summer School: it's just Summer Fun.

Pictured: Lead Preschool Teacher Valencia Garrett-Friend and Assistant Preschool Teacher Kyra Bunch with their Appreciation Week tulips. Not pictured: Our other educators who received their flowers this week, too!

"The good that the Education staff at the MLK do is completely awe-inspiring," said Tanya Gonzalez, Director of Education at the MLK. "It is an honor to work alongside educators as dedicated and exceptional as they are."

As a small gesture of our appreciation, MLK teachers were treated to flowers and a catered lunch this past week. Thank you, MLK educators, for your tireless dedication to our students.


Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 9th

To all the moms, step-moms, grandmas, mother figures, foster moms, & aunties in our MLK family, we wish you a very happy Mother's Day! This week in Preschool, students made plants and artwork to give to the special ladies in their lives this weekend.


Wednesday was drizzly and dreary, but that didn’t stop the rockstars from BedJet, the Aramli Foundation, and Speakeasy Bar & Grill from serving up over 330 Surf & Turf meals! A delicious grab & go meal of shrimp scampi, garlic mashed potatoes, steak tips, and a fresh dinner roll was served to a line of folks that wrapped around the block, who braved the weather for this comforting hot meal. Thank you so much to Mark & Ida of BedJet and the Aramli Foundation, for their incredible sponsorship of this special meal, and for braving the weather to serve alongside us.


Thank you, Newport County! You voted the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center 2021's Best Nonprofit AND Best Child Care of Newport County in the Newport Life and the Newport Daily News' 2021 "Best of" competition We are humbled beyond words.

The "Community" that’s right there in our middle name came together to decide: clients past and present, parents past and present, former students, volunteers, supporters, neighbors. Everyone who voted has been touched in one way or another by the good we've done together. Together, we feed & uplift our neighbors, and educate & encourage our little ones. So - congratulations are due to you for making our work possible. Thank you.


Imagine: You're a single parent. You work full time and are the primary caregiver to your 2 children. You rent an apartment and your housing community doesn't have amenities like a dishwasher. You prepare dinner after a full time work and parenting schedule, and then it's time to do the dishes.

When you wash dishes by hand, dish soap is one of those things that you feel like you're constantly running low on. And, when every dollar spent is a well-thought out choice, even dish soap can be considered a luxury. So, if you're looking for a different way to uplift your Newport County neighbors, consider grabbing an extra bottle of dish soap or 2 at the market this week. You're welcome to bring any donations by the Center's loading dock Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM.

HERE TO HELP View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events Please note: The MLK will soon be able to offer community members the ability to register for Community Programs online! So, you would no longer have to call or email the Center in order to RSVP. Of course, anyone who is unable to register online will still be able to call, but we hope this new technology adds convenience and flexibility to your lives and schedules. Programs with online scheduling capabilities will eventually include: all fitness programs (yoga, Toning in '21, Zumba), Sabores Latinos, LivFit, and Lunch & Learn.

  • Grab & Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

  • Food Pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm; first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 12 pm

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Ed for more info

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to low-income housing communities. Schedule

  • Daily Bread: Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance, while supplies last

  • Produce to the People (formerly Veggie Days): weekly vegetable distribution, Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm or while supplies last.

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Free! Presented in collaboration with McGrath's Clambakes & Catering. Menu TBD. Eating on-site not permitted.

  • NOW ENROLLING: Preschool for registered students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Openings available for 3 year olds. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117

  • After School program for registered elementary school students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209

  • NOW ENROLLING: Summer Adventure Camp: Offered June 28 - August 20, 2021 Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4 pm for registered campers. Rising 1st through 5th graders eligible. Campers enjoy daily field trips around Aquidneck Island, and make & maintain academic strides in math, literacy, science, & more through daily lesson plans. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209. Registration documents available to download online

  • WAITLIST ONLY 6/30: SafeSitter Babysitting Safety Course: This free class, presented by LifeSpan, will introduce aspiring babysitters ages 11-14 to essential babysitting safety guidelines, including first aid, CPR, sitter safety, and more. Wednesday, June 30th, 8:45 am - 2:30 pm. To join the waitlist in case of any cancellations, contact: Jeanette Nessett, LifeSpan: email or call (401) 444-8088.

  • NEW DATE ADDED 7/14: SafeSitter Babysitting Safety Course: This free class, presented by LifeSpan, will introduce aspiring babysitters ages 11-14 to essential babysitting safety guidelines, including first aid, CPR, sitter safety, and more. Wednesday, July 14th, 8:45 am - 2:30 pm. Space is limited & classes book fast, so reserve your child's spot ASAP: Jeanette Nessett, LifeSpan: email or call (401) 444-8088.

  • NEW TIME ADDED: Yoga Class: Yoga is offered at the Center every Tuesday and Friday morning at 8 am. All skill levels welcome. Masks required & space is limited. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Toning in '21 Fitness Class: Every Wednesday at 8:30 am, this full-body workout aims to improve balance, bone health, flexibility, and strength of participants in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. All skill-levels welcome. Masks required & space limited. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • Zumba Fitness Class: Every Thursday morning at 8:30 am. All skill levels welcome. Masks required & space is limited. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • NEW: Sabores Latinos: Every Monday at 5 pm, Spanish speakers are invited to join Yoli and Chef Carmen for Sabores Latinos, the MLK's first cooking class offered completely en Español. Yoli will teach recipes from around the