• MLK Community Center

Preschool Imaginations 'Soar' 🦅

Updated: Mar 8


Friday, February 26, 2021


Students enjoy a visit from the RI Audubon Society's feathered friend, Finn

COVID-19 has brought about many changes for our students, but one thing that hasn't changed is the Center's commitment to bringing engaging experiential learning. This past week, Miss Lisa and her feathered friend Finn the red-tailed hawk from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island paid a visit to our Preschool students, where they learned all about hawks. (The kids were particularly interested to learn Finn eats "mousicles"...we'll let you all guess what that is.)

Students learned that wild animals are not pets: Finn was injured as a fledgling and is in the care of the Audubon for his rehabilitation.


Congratulations to our friends at the Middletown Rotary Club for a hugely successful Matching Challenge! The pandemic prevented the group's annual BBQ fundraiser but they persevered and issued a $7,000 challenge to other Rotaries and the community. They met their goal and raised $14,690 to support the Center's ongoing Hunger Relief programs like Food 2 Friends, featured below. Want to join this group of community-minded friends? Learn more here.

Didn't get a chance to contribute to the challenge? You still can! Donate using via our PayPal, and select "Middletown Rotary Challenge" from the "Optional" dropdown on the main menu.

Join the Challenge

FOOD 2 FRIENDS: A Lifeline for Seniors & Shut-Ins

Above: Food 2 Friends clients "place their order" via mail-in or online forms. Volunteers, like Tracey shown here, then "shop" in our food pantry, filling the orders according to the clients' requests. Another group of volunteers deliver the bagged groceries (including right to the client's door.)

Food 2 Friends (F2F) is a monthly grocery delivery program for anyone who might be otherwise unable to come to the Center's on-site food pantry. If you can't make it to the food pantry, the food pantry can come to you. Currently, F2F serves 127 clients, many of whom are seniors and/or have mobility issues. 1,272 F2F deliveries were made in 2020. Especially given the pandemic, Food 2 Friends is a lifeline for Newport County homebound seniors and shut-ins. Many F2F clients face transportation challenges, for a multitude of different reasons. Take this story, for example:

Earlier this week, Grace* called to ask about the Food 2 Friends pantry delivery program for her and her husband. Despite being in their 60s and otherwise mobile, their car hasn't been able to pass inspection and money is tight right now, so repairs are out of the question. Their only access to groceries has been when their 82 year old mother can drive to the island from Fall River to bring them to the grocery store and back. She can only do this once a month, leaving Grace and her husband without enough food. Although their neighborhood wasn't on the schedule for F2F delivery this week, our volunteers made a special trip out to them with their first delivery. Grace* expressed her gratitude with relief in her voice: "This is going to be a huge help, thank you so much." (*Name changed to respect client privacy)

NEWPORT COUNTY VACCINE INFORMATION The State of Rhode Island has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccinations to those 65 years of age and older at State-run clinics as well as a select number of pharmacies. You can find the closest vaccination clinic to you & register using this online tool. If you need help scheduling an appointment, call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779. Newport residents who do not meet these age requirements can pre-register for the vaccine using this online tool (Newport residents ONLY).


Exciting news! Beginning March 9th, the MLK Center will begin offering two new community programs: Yoga class and "Unwind:" Knitting & Crocheting Group. Space is limited to allow for social distancing, so please RSVP with Mel via email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.


For those of you who abstain from eating meat Fridays in Lent, we have great news: O'Brien's will continue to donate a percentage of all Friday fish & chip sales through the last Friday of Lent (Friday, April 2nd).

Additionally, Mystic Pines Candle Co. will continue their candle giveback through March: purchase one of these amazing MLK candles and 30% of proceeds will benefit the MLK.


Starting your Spring cleaning early? Your used clothes can help raise funds for suicide prevention. Our friends at Be Great for Nate are holding a clothing drive this Sunday, February 28th from 1 pm to 5 pm in the St. Barnabas Church parking lot, Portsmouth. More info

ENDS SUNDAY, 2/28: VOTE FOR THE MLK - BEST CHILDCARE, NON-PROFIT, & SUMMER CAMP The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center is humbled to be nominated in 3 categories for Newport Daily News & Newport Life Magazine's "Best of Newport County." Find us in the "Professional Services" category in the "Child Care," "Nonprofit," and "Summer Camp" subcategories. You can vote once per day until this Sunday, 2/28. Thank you!

Vote for the MLK!


Have you joined in United Way of Rhode Island's 21-Day Equity Challenge yet? We're currently 3 days in, but it's not too late to sign up and commit to building a more equitable community! Staffers at the MLK are participating: we invite you to join us.

Join the Equity Challenge!


Schedule of all events

  • Grab 'n-Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

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

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

  • Preschool for registered preschool students. Openings currently available for 3 year olds. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117

  • After School program for registered students

  • NEW: 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, April 21 (April break), 8:45 am - 2:15 pm. Space is limited, so register with Jeanette at LifeSpan ASAP: via email or call (401) 444-8088. Facebook event (Marking "Interested" or "Going" does not count as your RSVP)

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

  • On-site food pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. First Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • AARP Tax Prep: We are still unsure as to whether tax prep will return to the Center in 2021. In the meantime, anyone interested in having their taxes prepared may contact

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center

(401) 846-4828

No temenos la capacidad de traducir cada entrada del blog a español porque usamos una herramienta de traducción en el internet. Por favor, disculpe cualquier error gramática. Por favor, llame al Centro si tiene alguna pregunta.

Las imaginaciones preescolares 'se disparan' 🦅


Viernes, 26 de febrero de 2021


Los estudiantes disfrutan de la visita del amigo emplumado de la Sociedad RI Audubon, Finn