Hundreds of volunteers gather at Rufus King Middle School for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Posted at 1:44 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 18:27:38-05
Many people had  the day off from school or work in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But hundreds of people didn't stay home, they spent the day volunteering in Milwaukee in remembrance of the civil rights icon.
In fact, more than 500 volunteers gathered at Rufus King Middle School to show today is not a day off but a day on. 
"We really wanted to beautify the school for the students. We want to make them feel welcome. We want to make them feel like this is their school and give them the opportunity to grow as a school, said Meralis Hood with City Year Milwaukee.
City Year is a national organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed.The volunteers are painting inspirational messages on all the hallway walls and in some of classrooms. 
"We're going to make the walls pop out with messages of inspiration to young middle school students about what the future looks like," said Senator Tammy Baldwin. 
The students just moved into this school this year and grandmother Yvette Sims is helping create the messages  to make sure the students know they can achieve anything! 
"I'm very excited for what's coming down the pipe for Rufus students," said Sims. "I think it's  a great thing that they were able to come to a big school like this and in this neighborhood to bring change." 
She has been participating in The National Day of Service for years,  but this year she  brought her sons and grandson to help out .
"I think it's important for the children to be well rounded individuals, so they can see different walks of life and change is good." said Sims
Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday a National Day of Service in 1994 to encourage everyone to honor the slain civil rights leader by volunteering.

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