While students were out of school for Martin Luther King Day, Alvarado ISD personnel celebrated the day with community service.

Instead of a full day of meetings and in-service, the district decided half of Monday’s Staff Development would be spent helping in the community.

“It is our duty as educators to model for young people the necessity of giving back to the community,” AISD superintendent Chester Juroska said. “I can think of no better homage to pay Dr. King than to serve our fellow citizens.”

Alvarado Elementary North teachers spent the day at Brookshire’s and David’s grocery stores, Alvarado Elementary South teachers helped at the Fire Department, Lillian Elementary teachers cleaned the Pleasant Point Cemetery, the staff at Alvarado Intermediate made boxes full of food and personal items for military servicemen, Alvarado Junior High teachers spent time at Helping Hands and the Alvarado High School staff split up between working at Percifield Park, providing food for City Hall and gathering resources for the Family Crisis Center.

Filling boxes for military servicemen hit home for members of the AIS staff as two members of the staff have sons in the armed forces. AIS personnel filled a total of 13 boxes with food and personal items, which will be sent to the two servicemen and those who serve with them.

Each teaching team was responsible for filling two boxes from a list of items that will be shared among the men in the barracks.

“We were very excited and pleased to be able to send a little bit of home to the men who serve and protect us each and every day,” AIS principal Dandy Earley said.

This was the first time the entire district set aside a day for community service and Juroska enjoyed seeing the staffs at the district’s schools working together on something that serves the community, not just the school district.

“I would like to see this become a tradition in our school and even see it spread to other school districts,” Juroska said. “We could see a changed world for the better if everyone adopted this philosophy.”

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation encouraged everyone to partake in some type of community service in honor of MLK Day.

“Every act of kindness makes a difference, whether you help a friend in need, refurbish a community center or take time to pray for positive change and social justice in our nation,” Michael W. Smith, vice chair of PCSCP, said in a release. “I encourage you to volunteer on King Day and make it the beginning of a year-round commitment to service.”