Penn State students turn day off into day 'on'

January 20, 2010

Penn State students may have had a day off from classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but for a group of students from six Penn State campuses, the day off became a day “on.”

On Jan. 18, Penn State Wilkes-Barre hosted the five northeast regional Penn State campuses for the second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day “ON” community service event.

According to Jackie Warnick-Piatt, Penn State Wilkes-Barre student activities coordinator, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day “ON” event was started last year at Penn State Hazleton. It is a multi-campus community service event that will be alternately hosted at one of the six Penn State campuses participating each year: Berks, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre and Worthington Scranton.

This year, students traveled to the Wilkes-Barre campus and spent the day volunteering around the Wyoming Valley. From sorting canned goods and boxes of food at the Back Mountain Food Pantry to cleaning animal cages at the Luzerne County SPCA, more than 50 students, faculty and staff spent their day serving others. Other organizations where volunteers spent time on Monday include the Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre, Hoyt Library, Jewish Community Center, Lands at Hillside Farms and Meadows Manor.

According to, the U.S. Congress initiated the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in 1994, transforming “the federal holiday into a national day of community service grounded in (Martin Luther King Jr.’s) teachings of nonviolence and social justice,” and making the holiday “a day ON, where people of all ages and backgrounds improve lives, bridge social barriers and move our nation closer to the ‘beloved community’ that King envisioned.”

For more information, contact Warnick-Piatt at 570-675-9284 or

  • Jackie Warnick-Piatt–PSU W-B Student Act Coord.; Chris Tweedy–Hillside Farms Dir. of Development; Nittany Lion; William Ritchie III–PSU W-B student; Suzanne Kelly–Hillside Farms board member; Chet Mozloom–Hillside Farms Exec. Dir.; Robert Danko–PSU W-B student; Guy Kroll–Hillside Farms Events Comm. Chair; Chuck Deome–Farm Mgr.; Amy Deome–Farmhand

    Read more ›
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated November 18, 2010