Young people rolled up their sleeves to work for the community Monday, in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The federal holiday is often celebrated as a day of service.

East Middle School students traveled all over town helping out. In Christine Donaldson’s first-grade classroom at Kennedy Elementary, they read aloud to young students.

Donaldson said that is a good way to learn about King. The elementary kids also wrote about their dreams for a better world, which helps them relate a historical figure to their own lives, she said.

“They can have a dream, too,” Donaldson said.

Eighth-grader Angelica Hand helped her classmates deliver emergency preparedness packs to older folks at the Highland View Manor, Rosalie Manor and the Leggat Hotel.

“It’s nice helping out other people,” Hand said.

Amanda Peterson, a teacher at East, said students also cleaned or painted the school, cooked meals or collected donations for the Butte Rescue Mission, and raised more than $900 in a walk-a-thon for the Special Olympics.

“Every student was doing something,” Peterson said.

In the afternoon, East students watched King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and a film about the civil rights movement.

Peterson believes celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day helps students understand equality and the sacrifices made to achieve that goal.

— Reporter Piper Haugan: 496-5572, piper.haugan@

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