Welcome Back, Preschool & After School Students ✏️
Updated: Sep 11
UPDATES FROM THE MLK COMMUNITY CENTER Friday, September 10, 2021
WELCOME BACK: A NEW SCHOOL YEAR OF FUN, LAUGHTER, AND LEARNING AT THE MLK
Welcome, MLK students! This week, the Center welcomed 28 Preschool students between both of our Preschool classes, and welcomed back 43 students to our After School program.
Much of the week in Preschool was spent adjusting to new norms & routines, as well as students and teachers getting to know each other. While there are some familiar faces returning to Preschool, most of our Preschool students are completely new to the Center, and for many, this is their first classroom learning experience. Many in our incoming Preschool class are English language learners as well, they have been enjoying a plethora of new learning experiences. The majority of our After School students are familiar faces - most have attended the After School program and/or Summer Camp at the MLK, and some of our graduating Preschool Class of 2021 have returned for our After School program. We're delighted to have them back in our classrooms for a great new school year! While our priority in our Preschool and After School programs is to prepare young minds for lifelong academic success, the importance of childcare has been highlighted as a result of the pandemic. Our programs provide a safe, high-quality educational environment for children so parents can continue to work. Throughout this school year and beyond, the Center will continue to adapt to the developing COVID-19 situation in accordance with the guidelines laid out by the Rhode Island Department of Education. We are looking forward to another year of fun, learning, and laughter!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Shifts Available for the Newport Marathon & Pell Bridge Run
The MLK is seeking volunteers for both the 2021 Amica Insurance Newport Marathon and the Citizens Pell Bridge Run. Both of these races benefit the Center's programming, so we offer our support with volunteers. Seasoned MLK volunteers and new volunteers alike are welcome to register for this fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity! To register:
Visit our volunteer registration page. (You can also get there from clicking on the “Volunteer” tab on our website, then clicking the “Register” button.)
If you are an existing volunteer, simply sign in to your account, and click on the “Opportunities” tab.
If you are new to volunteering with the Center, begin by filling out the information on the left hand side of the registration page (beneath “I am new to MyImpactPage.com.”)
The information with the flag symbol beside it is required. Feel free to fill out as much as the optional information as you would like, but it is not required.
Once you've submitted your info, you will then be taken to the “General Availability” page. (None of this information is required - but it is great to have if you’d like to continue volunteering with the MLK!) You do have to check the agreement box at the very bottom of the page, then hit “Submit Application.”
The next page will say “Application Complete.” But, don’t log out just yet! On that page, there is a link that says “Go to the opportunities page.” Click that!
On that page, you will see the available volunteer opportunities, which are for the Newport Marathon (October 9th registration day: 3 shift times available; October 10th race day: 1 shift time available) and for the Pell Bridge Run (October 16th: 2 shift times available).
Feel free to register for whichever shift(s) you are available to help out with, and you will be automatically scheduled. Thank you in advance!
SAVE THE DATE - DRIVE THRU TOY DRIVE: October 13th
Calling all cars! The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center will host a Drive-Thru Toy Drive in front of the Center (20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI) on Wednesday, October 13th from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Donated toys will stock our annual Santa's Workshop holiday gift assistance program. Donors will pull up to the Center anytime from 1:30 - 5:30 PM, stay in their vehicles, and volunteers will unload donations of unwrapped toys & gifts from your trunk or backseat - completely contactless! Gifts are needed for children of all ages (ages 0 - 12) with a variety of different interests. Donations of gift cards to popular retailers are also welcome & very needed. A list of suggested gifts & more information about donating to Santa's Workshop is available to download on our website: www.mlkccenter.org/holiday-help
You can make a difference for Newport County this fall: Make your 2021 run or walk across the Pell Bridge or for the Newport Marathon in support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center! Register to run with us online, then create your MLK fundraising page. From there, share your personal fundraising page with friends and family so they can show their support for you, the Center, and contribute toward your personal fundraising goal. *This year, fundraising on the GoFundMe platform will only be supported until September 30th - but don’t worry, the Center will still receive all donations just the same. If anyone would like to support your run but would like to give directly to the Center, they’re welcome to donate via our PayPal - just be sure to select which race you’re participating in, and indicate which runner they’d like to support.
The Amica Newport Marathon & Half Marathon returns to Newport on Sunday, October 10th, 2021. Team MLK's page
The Citizens Pell Bridge Run returns to Newport on Sunday, October 17th, 2021. Team MLK's page
Questions? Feel free to contact Alyson Novick, Director of Development, via email.
SALVE REGINA EXPLORATORY DAY OF SERVICE
Earlier this week, freshmen from Salve Regina University participated in the annual Exploratory Day of Service here at the MLK Community Center. During their time with us, students prepped utensil bags for our grab & go soup distribution, disinfected surfaces around the Center, cleaned up the lawn and streets abutting the Center, worked on organization tasks, and much more. Thank you for lending your time and talent, Salve students! It is always a pleasure.
ELECTRONICS RECYCLING DRIVE: October 2nd
If you're doing some decluttering during the next few weeks, we have good news - Indie Cycle will return to the MLK for another Electronics Recycling Drive on the morning of Saturday, October 2nd. Simply pull up to the Center between 9 AM and 12 PM and a volunteer from Indie Cycle will unload your electronics from your vehicle. A list of what can and cannot be accepted is available on Indie Cycle's website.
FOOD PANTRY FEATURE:Adult Nutrition Drinks (Ensure / Boost)
The Center’s Mobile Food Pantry, Food 2 Friends pantry delivery program, and on-site food pantry serve folks who have a wide array of needs. For many folks who are food insecure, getting adequate nutrition is often a struggle, simply given a lack of access to nutritious food. If you add mobility issues or other health challenges on top of food insecurity, this nutrition deficit is even greater.
For this reason, nutritious adult meal replacements are always in extremely high-demand in our food pantries. Many of the folks we serve rely on Ensure and Boost as a staple in their diets: these beverages are convenient, vitamin-packed, dense in calories ....and tasty! It might seem like something small, but two of our Food 2 Friends volunteers can attest to the life-altering effect adult nutrition drinks can have on people’s lives. A Food 2 Friends client, Mr. E*, now lives with a relative out of state. Prior to his move, however, Mr. E* had a host of medical issues, including some that made it difficult to swallow and difficult to taste anything. As a result, he had become dangerously underweight. Adding adult meal replacement drinks to his diet through the MLK’s Food 2 Friends pantry delivery program drastically changed his medical outlook. After each drop-off visit, our volunteers would remark about how much weight Mr. E* was able to gain and how he continued to improve with each visit. Our staff and volunteers firmly believe the addition of adult supplemental nutrition drinks through the Food 2 Friends program ultimately allowed Mr. E* to be well enough to move in with his family, where he now happily resides. Throughout the month of September and beyond, we ask for contributions of adult supplemental nutrition drinks, like Ensure and Boost, for distribution in our food pantry programs. We can accept your donations at the Center's on-site loading dock Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Thank you! *Name changed to protect client privacy.
HERE TO HELP
Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, Lunch & Learn, 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.
Breakfast: Mon - Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. Grab & go, or dine-in. (Edward St. 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 - 12 pm.
Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Jose for more info
Mobile Food Pantry visits to communities throughout Newport County. Schedule
Daily Bread: Bread and other baked goods available free of charge 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.
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: Summer Adventure Camp: Offered Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4 pm for registered campers. Rising 1st through 5th graders eligible. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209.
Indie Cycle Electronics Recycling Drive: If you're doing some decluttering during the next few weeks, we have good news - Indie Cycle will return to the MLK for another Electronics Recycling Drive on the morning of Saturday, October 2nd. Simply pull up to the Center between 9 AM and 12 PM and a volunteer from Indie Cycle will unload your electronics from your vehicle. A list of what can be accepted is available on Indie Cycle's website.
MLK Drive Thru Toy Drive: The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center will host a Drive-Thru Toy Drive in front of the Center on Wednesday, October 13th from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Donated toys will stock our annual Santa's Workshop holiday gift assistance program. A list of suggested toys is