Celebrate MLK Day by teaching your children about volunteerism

Parents can celebrate King's legacy by having their children volunteer along with millions of other Americans this MLK Day of Service.

WASHINGTON, DC - So many children spend national holidays off from school doing nothing to honor the legacy of whatever person, group or cause is being celebrated or remembered.  This doesn’t have to be the case, at least not on the day most are off celebrating Dr. Marting Luther King’s birthday.  This Monday, January 17, 2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.  After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The federal holiday was first observed in 1986.

On the this landmark anniversary date, Americans across the country will honor Dr. King by helping their neighbors and communities, making it a “day on, not a day off” – a national day of service to bring Americans together to help others. This holiday represents a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.

The MLK Day of Service, which takes place on the 3rd Monday in January each year, is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service and is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

The President and First Lady, Joe Biden and other cabinet and executives have also committed to volunteer this Monday in Washington, DC, Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere.

To learn of volunteer opportunities in your town, visit MLKDay.gov to  and plug in your zipcode. You will be taken to a search site offering you a whole host of projects going on in their neighborhood and area that they can volunteer on and support.  Schools, organizations, and other groups and entities that have existing volunteer options can enter their opportunities in the database as well.  The site includes an area to submit and share your story, apply for a service award or nominate other stewards who have gone above and beyond in front of or behind the scenes. It has tools for planning and promoting your own service projects

 MLK Day of Service provides parents and caregivers a wonderful opportunity to teach children about volunteerism and connect them to the world around them and beyond their Wii consoles and television screens. It’s also a pretty easy way to show them about being grateful for the many privileges they have, especially compared to others who may be living in their same town or just down the street.


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Jeneba Ghatt
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt is a former journalist turned lawyer turned citizen journalist. Currently, she manages her boutique communications law firm, where she has represented small businesses and nationally-recognized civil and consumer rights organizations before the United States Supreme Court, federal courts and the FCC. She also covers the White House and US Congress for the online news site Politic365.com while authoring her own influential blog JenebaSpeaks.com which is frequently accessed by top policy makers and think tanks, and the investment community. JenebaSpeaks.com focuses on the intersection of politics and technology and reports on policies and rules in the communications and tech sector.
 
Before opening her law firm, The Ghatt Law Group, which was the first communications firm owned by women and minorities, Jeneba regulated Comcast and Starpower as the Assistant General Counsel for the District of Columbia's Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, and at one point was the only communications regulatory attorney in the entire city. She is founding member and policy chair for a new trade association, the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs and provides advice and counsel to new businesses in the tech industry, particularly small businesses owned by women and minorities.

Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, but raised in the United States by her Catholic mom and Muslim dad, she started her college career creating web content for one of the earliest websites in history while working part time for the University of Maryland's Office of Technology. Following her graduation from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, she founded and co-wrote one of the earliest blogs and since then has gone on to found and author six different widely read and influential blogs. She was one of only 22 writers and bloggers to attend the first White House summit for African American media.
 
She holds a Certificate in Communications Law Studies from Catholic; a Juris Doctor from there as well, and a Master of Law in advocacy degree from the Georgetown University Law Center where she first taught and lectured as a Staff Attorney and Graduate fellow at that law school's Institute for Public Representation. She later went on to teach Media Law at the University of Maryland at College Park and guest lecture at Yale Law School and Penn State University, College of Telecommunications. She is well skilled and versed with social media and manages several Twitter, Facebook, Linked In accounts and groups.
 
She sits on the board of several non profits and trade associations.

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