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Westminster to make holiday a learning experience

Westminster to make holiday a learning experience

January 14th, 2011 in News

Callaway County students may be out of school in observation of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, but Westminster College still is hoping to make it a day of learning.

The school is hosting an activity fair for area children from noon until 3 p.m. featuring 15 stations ranging from arts and crafts activities and games to educational videos.

"We have planned a day of activities centered on multicultural appreciation, Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy, community service, nutrition and fitness," event coordinator Jill Olson stated in a recent press release. "We wanted to schedule a day of meaningful activities for children ... so they will appreciate the meaning and importance of this holiday."

Olson, Westminster's director of community engagement and service learning, said Thursday the activity fair is funded by a grant through Missouri Campus Compact and is meant to give local youth "an on day on a day off."

Westminster student and staff volunteers will offer activities including bracelet making for Rwandan children, a video station on Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, a lesson on Churchill's leadership, recycling and banner making.

"We have a huge variety of things - anything from learning about the Civil Rights movement to a Martin Luther King reading corner where students will read books about his life and making bookmarks," Olson said. "We have a station on health and nutrition where they will make their own trail mix, there will be a station where they learn basketball skills."

Drinks and snacks also will be provided, and participants also will receive a free Scholastic book so "the children can learn while they're here and can continue to learn when they go home." Parental supervision is required.

Olson said the school has been working on the activity fair for several months and said she would invite all Callaway parents to bring their children to experience the event.

"The student volunteers are going to keep them busy," Olson said. "It's free education - you can't get any better than that."