Kennett, Unionville unite for MLK service day

Students join forces to serve others throughout community in honor of Dr. King

By Suzanne Misciagna, Staff Writer, The Times


A great ending to a morning of hard work as Patton Middle School and Kennett Middle School students unite to clean up Anson B. Nixon Park in honor of MLK Day.

KENNETT – Students in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District and Kennett Consolidated School District honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday through serving others.

The Day of Service kicked off with the 14th annual MLK CommUNITY Breakfast held at the Red Clay Room in Kennett Square to revitalize Dr. King’s dream of peace and harmony among all people in the community. Students from the Unionville and Kennett School District choir groups performed at the breakfast as a tribute to Dr. King.

Patton Middle School students and Kennett Middle School students woke up bright and early to lend a helping hand cleaning their local community. The site was Anson B. Nixon Park, a popular community venue for area special events as well as local sports activities.

“Anson B. Nixon Park is used by both the Kennett and Unionville communities,” says Kennett Middle School Counselor, Kori Barley-Stoudemire, who coordinated the park cleanup for Kennett Middle School this year. “Although we are from different districts, we are all one community coming together to serve.


Kennett Middle School students Samantha Hartman and Paige Brown are all smiles after donating their time on their day off from school to serve others.

Middle school students donned their work gloves to help clean the park of fallen tree branches and limbs, picking up litter, and clearing brush along the walking paths.

Samantha Hartman, an eighth grader at Kennett Middle School, helped clean up the area behind the volleyball courts at Anson B. Nixon Park. “This is the second year I’ve helped out on MLK Day,” says Hartman. “I like it because it makes me feel good to give back to my community.”

Paige Brown, a fellow student at Kennett Middle School in the sixth grade agrees. “It’s a good thing to do on my day off,” says Brown. “We were busy lifting trees and logs and making sure people could get to the walking paths.”

This was no small feat as students braved the cold and icy conditions early Monday morning, dodging tree limbs and branches that were down due to Sunday’s storm.

“It’s exciting to see students giving up their time on their day off to serve,” says Dr. Barry Tomasetti, Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District. “I’m proud of the great enthusiasm our district has for service.”


Patton Middle School students Emma Malone and Elizabeth Stewart enjoy a treat after helping to clean up Anson B. Nixon Park on Monday as part of the district’s MLK Day of Service.

Eighth graders Emma Malone and Elizabeth Stewart from Patton Middle School in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District helped too. They were among many students huddled together enjoying hot chocolate and doughnuts as a thank you for a job well done. “It’s good to take time off from using electronics to focusing on helping the community instead,” says Malone. “Last year, I chose a different service opportunity on MLK Day,” says Stewart. “But, whatever you choose, it’s nice to know that you are helping someone.”

Unionville and Kennett High School students worked together like their middle school counterparts. They choose to feed the hungry on this MLK Day of Service. They, along with Avon Grove School District, joined together to collect donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the Kennett Food Cupboard. Unionville High School students sorted through the items Monday morning and the Unionville and Kennett High School football teams delivered the food to the Kennett Food Cupboard that evening.


Members of the Kennett and Unionville high school football teams unloading the 12,000 pounds of food they collected for the Kennett Community Food Cupboard, Monday night.

Jim Conley, Assistant Principal for Unionville High School and coordinator for the high school’s MLK activities, hopes that next year’s MLK Day of Sharing will only be bigger and better. “It’s important to spark an interest in our students for service, sometimes getting them out of their comfort zone by trying something new,” says Conley. “We want them to realize that one person is all it takes to make a difference.”


Food donations are needed year-round at the Kennett Food Cupboard. For more information, visit or call (610) 925-3556.


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