(January 18, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Dream Week kicks off with Day of Service

By Michele Marcotte
Courtesy of the Shreveport Times

SHREVEPORT, La. — Centenary College students, faculty, staff and members of the community kicked off a week-long celebration of the legacy and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. with a Monday service day aimed at sprucing up two local schools and a community center.

Centenary College students Linsey Maurice-Walker (left), Breanna Speed, Chelsi Hefner, Samantha Saffle and Ashley Twyman work on a mural in the library at E.B.W. Stoner Hill Elementary School as part of Centenary's 3rd Annual Day of Service.

Volunteers helped teachers organize classrooms, decorated tote bags for students and cleaned, said Kelly Weeks, who coordinated service projects at Creswell Elementary in Shreveport.

This year's MLK Service Day had an overwhelming response from not only students and faculty, but locals in the community, Weeks said.

"Last year, we had two sites and we grew to three this year, and I think next year we'll have to have even more," she said.
Patty Roberts, who spent part of Monday collecting trash at the park opposite Creswell Elementary, said the annual event provided an "easy opportunity to serve" the community.

"It's a nice tradition for the holiday," she said.

Centenary freshman Lesya Ekshyyan said she had been active in her community in high school, but had not done anything since she started college. "I decided this was a good idea to get me back into doing community service," she said.

The community service was not restricted solely to physically improving service sites, which also included E.B.W. Stoner Hill Elementary and Querbes Community Center. Several students from various Centenary sports teams invited children from the surrounding the Querbes Community Center neighborhoods to come back to play dodgeball with them, said Adam Walsh, Centenary's men's basketball coach and assistant athletic director.

The remainder of Centenary's plans for the week, known as Dream Week 2011, will include a 7 p.m. screening of "American Violet" today; a 7 p.m. philosophy discussion on Civil Disobedience in the 21st Century on Wednesday at James Hall on the Centenary campus; and a musical performance at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on campus. A complete list of all activities can be found at centenary.edu.


Service Day at Creswell Elementary

Service Day at E.B.W. Stoner Hill

Service day at Querbes Park Community Center

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 373 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.