• MLK Community Center

School's Out for the Summer ... 🎸


SCHOOL'S OUT FOR THE SUMMER But at Summer Adventure Camp, the learning & fun are just beginning

School may be out for the summer, but at the MLK Community Center's Summer Adventure Camp, the summer fun and learning have only just begun.

This year, Summer Adventure Camp at the MLK is at capacity - with 48 students enrolled. Following a school year of virtual learning for so many of these rising Kindergarten to 5th graders, the Center's summer program is more vital than ever, as it provides students with long-awaited in-person experiences: face-to-face interactions with friends and in-person classroom learning. Classroom lessons throughout the summer will support and enhance what students learned during the school year, and hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) programming provide further enrichment.

Not only will students be spending time in the classroom this summer, but they will enjoy daily trips to the beach and field trips across the Island: to places like SailNewport for sailing lessons, nearby farms, and many more. Behind the scenes, there are so many robust community collaborations that go into making a summer of fun at the MLK happen. Already, students participated in a collaborative community program: the 4th Annual Hope Tree Art Exhibition.

An initiative of the Newport Health Equity Zone's Arts & Culture Working Group and the Newport Art Museum, the Hope Tree outdoor public art exhibition, now in its 4th year, celebrates the strength, diversity, hopes, and voices of individuals, families, and community organizations connected to Newport's North End. Participants are invited to share their hopes for the community by decorating a canvas. Then, the works will be installed around trees in Miantonomi Park in Newport for everyone to enjoy, from July 9th - October 9th, 2021. On Wednesday, Summer Campers worked together to create their colorful canvas: decorated colorfully with handprints and drawings, and "Community" at its center.

L.E.A.D. PEER GROUP BEGINS NEXT WEEK: Our L.E.A.D.(Love, Equity, Acceptance, Dreams)weeklypeer group begins this Wednesday, July 7th at 3 pm! Geared toward LGBTQ+ and/or questioning youth, L.E.A.D. will serve as a safe environment for preteens and teens to talk, share experiences, and learn together. If you know of a young person who might benefit from this group, please spread the word! All are welcome to join, and no RSVP is needed. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Mirasia: via email or call (401) 846-4828 x201. Facebook event

SATURDAY PANTRY TOMORROW: As a reminder, our on-site food pantry will be open tomorrow: Saturday, July 3rd, from 10 am to 12 pm. Please note: the Center will be closed Monday, July 6th, so there will be no Monday food pantry. Are you and your family low on pantry staples, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, eggs, personal care items, and/or cleaning supplies? Stop by tomorrow! You're welcome to shop at any of our pantries once per calendar month. Saturday food pantries are held on the first Saturday of each month.

FRESH FOOD CONNECT APP: If you're a backyard gardener and/or someone who's been Growing a Row for the MLK this season, there's now an even more convenient way to share your garden's excess bounty with your neighbors! Introducing theFresh Food Connectapp, for iOS and Android, which allows growers to schedule produce pickups and track their produce donations from an app-enabled smart device, like your smartphone or tablet. If you live in Newport County, you are eligible for the pickup service and you will be automatically connected with the MLK as the benefitting nonprofit after entering your location into the app. Use this simple app to schedule a time when one of our volunteer couriers can swing by and grab your produce, and they'll deliver to the MLK! Don't want a pickup? No worries, you can schedule produce drop-offs as well and still track your donation progress. Questions? Contact Ed:via emailor call (401) 846-4828 x119.

WATCH: How to donate with the Fresh Food Connect app

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY - The Center will be closed Mon, July 5: The MLK Community Center will be closed this coming Monday, July 5th in observation of Independence Day, and will reopen the following day, Tuesday, July 6th. We're wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Pictured (right): Summer Campers made firework art this week in camp. How did they get that fireworks effect? It's a mixture of watercolor paint, glue, and salt!

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: We still need low-sodium foods

Demand for low-sodium foods continues to exceed supply on our pantry shelves.

Have you been there? Your doctor reviews your lab report and tells you to reduce your salt intake ... immediately. For many of us, lifestyle changes like this are challenging enough on their own. But combatting food insecurity on top of that? What would you do if access to low sodium foods wasn't possible?

That's where the MLK comes in. Low-sodium foods are among our most-requested items. Many seniors in our Food 2 Friends program follow a sodium-restricted diet, as well as so many others that we see at our Mobile Food Pantries and on-site food pantry. For those who have or are at risk of kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or simply anyone trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, low sodium foods are essential.

Are you able to donate some low sodium foods throughout the remainder of the month? We need items like: low sodium soups, canned beans, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, etc. You can also look for low sodium packaged rice & stovetop pasta dishes, low sodium spice mixes... really anything that says "Low Sodium" or "No Salt" on the packaging! We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and personal care items at our loading dock Monday - Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Thank you!

When you give, the MLK can keep helping. Click here to donate.


View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events

Volunteers wanted! The MLK is currently seeking Volunteer Cooks to prepare meals for our Breakfast program. You don't have to be a morning person either, you can meal prep in advance! If you're interested in volunteering with us, please fill out an online volunteer application.

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 for your first class, 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!

PLEASE NOTE: The MLK Community Center will be closed this coming Monday, July 5th in observation of Independence Day, and will reopen the following day, Tuesday, July 6th. Wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday weekend!

  • 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 communities throughout Newport County. Schedule

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

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

  • Produce to the People @ Newport Heights: The Center's weekly free vegetable distribution is hitting the road for the summer! Beginning June 1st, every Tuesday throughout the summer from 10 am - 1 pm (or while supplies last), get free, local produce for you and your family. Located behind the Florence Gray Center in Newport (on W. Evans St, between Girard Ave and John H. Chafee)

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Sponsored by Blount Fine Foods. Free! Menu TBD.

  • Live from the [Loading] Dock, Summer Concert Series: This summer, bring a blanket/lawn chair to the Center's front lawn on the 2nd Wednesday of the month for upbeat music from diverse musicians and a meal. On Wednesday, July 14th at 4:30 pm, enjoy the sounds of the Robertico Arias Percussion Ensemble. Arias, a Dominican Republic native, is a talented musician and master percussionist. This event made possible thanks to the generosity of event sponsors Caleb & Broad and Point Wine & Spirits.

  • Preschool for registered students. DHS accepted & scholarships available. 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

  • 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.

  • WAITLIST ONLY: 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. To join the waitlist, contact Jeanette Nessett at LifeSpan by email or call (401) 444-8088.

  • NEW: LEAD - Peer Group for LGBTQQ+ Youth: Beginning July 7th and continuing on Wednesdays at 3 pm, LGBTQQ+ youth are invited to join the LEAD Youth Peer Group at the MLK (L.E.A.D. = Love, Equity, Acceptance, and Dreams). No RSVP necessary. Please contact Mirasia at the Center with any questions: via email or call (401) 846-4828 x201.

  • Yoga Class: Yoga is offered at the Center every Tuesday and Friday morning at 8 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome! RSVP online or 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 & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Zumba Fitness Class: Every Monday morning at 8:30 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Free, Safe, and Confidential HIV & Hep C Testing: Get tested for HIV & Hep C at the MLK by appointment every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12 - 2 pm. The next date is July 15th.This program is held in a confidential, private setting, separated from other Center programming. Participants are welcome to enter through the Center's Edward St entrance, where someone from APRI will meet you at your appointment time. To make an appointment: Call or email APRI: (401) 831-5522