• MLK Community Center

Looking Back on Summer Live from the Loading Dock



We know, we know: Summer's not over yet. For Aquidneck Islanders, there are still plenty of trips to the beach left, plenty of ice cream cones to be eaten, tomatoes still ripening on vines, and so many sunsets over the shoreline still to gawk at. But we're saying goodbye to one new summer tradition here at the MLK: our final Live from the [Loading] Dock summer concerts - a collaboration with Common Fence Music - was this past week.

On a sunny, warm Wednesday evening, 57 community members from all walks of life and from all corners of Newport County set up chairs in our driveway and on the MLK's lawn. Everyone enjoyed the lively folk stylings of The Vox Hunters, multi-instrumentalists who played classic sea shanties, Rhode Island folk music, and international folk music, complete with some step dancing, of course. We are so grateful to our music sponsor Del Nero at the Square!

Thanks to generous meal sponsors BedJet and the Aramli Foundation, Vieste Italian Restaurant catered the meal and laid out a mouth-watering spread of spaghetti & meatballs, chicken carbonara, chicken parm & pasta, and their handmade focaccia bread.

While this was only Live from the [Loading] Dock's first year, the concerts quickly became a summer highlight, with attendees telling us, "I'm so glad you’re doing this." We're so thankful to all of the incredible performers - Yacouba Diabate, the Robertico Arias Percussion Ensemble, and The Vox Hunters - and all of the sponsors who made it all possible: Jeff Brooks Realtor, Caleb & Broad, Point Wine & Spirits, Del Nero at the Square, and BedJet & the Aramli Foundation. Last but certainly not least, thank you to all of our incredible volunteers who stepped up to prep food, cook burgers & dogs on the grill, put out chairs, and so much more - we couldn't have done it without you. Thanks, all, for a very memorable summer. We can't wait for the next one!


Lunch & Learn: Combating Ocean Pollution with COA

Learn about the threat of ocean pollution on Aquidneck Island and beyond over a hearty, healthy meal at the MLK's upcoming Lunch & Learn, featuring a presentation by our friends at Clean Ocean Access (COA)! COA will share what they're doing to combat ocean pollution and what you can do to help - and they'll discuss their Aquidneck Island composting collaboration.

All are welcome, but RSVP is mandatory by Monday so we know how much food to prepare.

Did you know you can register for our community programs online!? Visit our online scheduling site to reserve your spot for multiple classes at a time, receive email/text message alerts, and cancel/reschedule if need-be. (If you lose the URL, don't sweat it: there are links to the scheduling site on our main webpage, too.) REGISTER HERE

Not able to register online? No problem! You're still able to RSVP with Mel at via email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

Lunch & Learn is the MLK Community Center's twice-monthly lunchtime lecture/activity series for adults.

RSVP to enjoy a hearty meal and a fun activity or relevant presentation every first & third Wednesday of the month at 12 PM at the MLK Community Center. While this event is geared toward seniors in Newport County, all adults are welcome to attend.


We need a volunteer yoga instructor (or two!) to lead our 8 AM Friday morning yoga class. Our yoga classes are suitable for all ages and all skill levels. Must have yoga instructor certification or be pursuing yoga instructor certification. This is a volunteer position with very minimal time commitment - only one hour per week! - so we can work with the busiest of schedules. Can't do Fridays at 8 AM? Feel free to still get in contact with us - we might be able to work out an additional class that may work for your schedule. If you are interested or know someone who might be, contact Nancy Harten, Director of Community Programs & Volunteers, via email or call (401) 846-4828 x103.

WATCH: Summer Adventure Campers gave weather reports on Facebook & Instagram Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


This week, MLK Summer Adventure Campers were Meteorologists, exploring the study of weather and atmosphere in their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) lessons throughout the week. Campers delivered & recorded daily weather forecasts that were published on our Facebook and Instagram pages, learned how to describe and observe weather phenomena, explored the differences and relationship between weather and climate, studied the water cycle, and more. Outside of the classroom, campers enjoyed trips to the beach, a field trip to the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown where they met sea critters up close and personal, made mini cakes in cooking class, and had tennis lessons and sailing lessons! Summer Adventure Camp at the MLK is made possible by generous community support from people like you.


Parents: Has your child been begging you to let them babysit? Have you been hesitant to give them the go-ahead? If this sounds like an argument you've had around your kitchen table, the MLK Community Center is proud to offer just the thing for your family. LifeSpan Community Health Institute will hold a day-long Safe Sitter babysitting course at the MLK on Friday, August 20th for aspiring babysitters ages 11 - 14. The class is FREE for those registered. Students will learn babysitting skills like infant and child CPR, injury prevention & management, infant & child choking rescue, childcare essentials, and more. Class size is limited, so registration is first-come, first-served. Register ASAP with Jeanette Nessett via email or call (401) 444-8088


Tomorrow, Saturday, August 14th from 11 AM - 2 PM, East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) is distributing free backpacks and school supplies for all youth 18 and under. EBCAP will also be providing free COVID-19 vaccines on-site. Any youth 12+ who receive their vaccine will be registered to win an iPad. Register online here, but walk-ins also welcome.


Spots in the MLK’s Preschool and After School programs for the 2021/2022 school year, beginning on September 8th, are filling up quickly. Submit your application today! Preschool at the MLK is an affordable licensed education program for children 3-5 years of age. Open from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm daily, our preschool provides working parents with a safe and nurturing place to care for their children during the workday. Cost: $170 for 5 days; $136 for 4 days; $102 for 3 days; includes breakfast, lunch, & snack. DHS child care subsidies accepted. Scholarships are available and all are encouraged to apply!

The After School Academy at the MLK offers affordable, educational after school care for students in kindergarten to 5th grade. Serving students from across Newport County, programming complements and builds upon students' in-school learning, offers homework help, physical activities, and extracurricular enrichment, like STEAM programming, chorus with Newport County Youth Chorus, and violin lessons, at no additional charge. After School at the MLK supports students' academic, social, and emotional success. Offered weekdays from school's end to 6:00 p.m. Transportation provided from Newport's Pell School. $85/week. DHS child care subsidies accepted. Scholarships are available and all are encouraged to apply.

Visit Our Website For An Application

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: Incontinence Garments

Dignity is about more than having enough food. It's about having the items you need. Beyond food and household products, the MLK offers personal care items like shampoo, deodorant, dental hygiene, and menstrual products in our Food Pantry, Mobile Food Pantry, and Food 2 Friends pantry delivery program. These more expensive items are daily essentials, and for many seniors or those with health challenges, incontinence garments are a daily necessity, too. We see parents turn to the Center in dire need of diapers for their small children. Incontinence garments are an equally urgent need. They're pricey, and can be a stretch for those struggling to make ends meet or living on a fixed income.

At the MLK, we are committed to offering a wide variety of goods that serve our community's range of needs. We never want someone to leave empty-handed if they're in need of incontinence garments in their size. Throughout the month of August and beyond, we ask for contributions of adult incontinence garments, in all shapes and sizes. We know these are a more expensive item, and we're grateful for whatever you can donate. We can accept your donations at the Center's on-site loading dock Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Thank you!

When you give, Newport County is a better place for all of us. Thank you.


View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events

Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, and Sabores Latinos online! With this system, you can conveniently register, reschedule, and cancel appointments at your convenience. We suggest you make an account for easy account management (after you sign up, it will prompt you). If you aren't able to register online, you are always able to contact Mel via email or by phone to register: (401) 846-4828.

Facebook Groups: We've recently opened two private Facebook groups: one group for Parents & Families of MLK Students, and one group for MLK Community Center Volunteers. Please join the conversation!

  • Breakfast: Mon - Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. Grab & go, or dine-in. (Edward St. entrance)