February 1, 2016
Between Friday, January 15 and Monday, January 18 (and beyond) all across Montana MTCC VISTAs and AmeriCorps Members coordinated or took part in projects that honored the memory of one of our nation’s greatest leaders, Martin Luther King Jr . MTCC’s national service members conducted MLK Read for Peace events, toiletry drives, art projects and volunteered with local events from Glendive in the east to Hamilton and Kalispell in the west. Here are some of their stories:

VISTA Jill McIntyre reads to students at Irving Elementary

Our VISTA members in Bozeman (Alex Opie, Lauren Hall, Dalya Kefi, and Jill McIntyre) coordinated and executed an amazing MLK Read for Peace event. They decided to have their program take place during after school programs in Bozeman at the following schools: Morningstar Elementary, Irving Elementary, Whittier Elementary. After reading to each group of children the volunteers discussed the importance of MLK’s message and then helped students create drawings of their “dream for the world.” This MLK Read for Peace Event was able to engage 12 volunteers (including 3 RSVP members) who contributed 12 hours of their time. They were able to read to 90 students and had their drawings hung up at the Bozeman Public Library.

MTCC AmeriCorps Member Noah Davis Pictured top left
MTCCAmeriCorps Member serving with Montana Tech, Noah Davis, working with his team of college student AmeriCorps members led another exceedingly rewarding MLK Read for Peace Event in Butte, Montana. Noah recruited and placed a total of 31 volunteers, who contributed 61 hours over the span of two separate days of reading. A total of 422 students were read to and participated in an art project depicting their interpretation of MLK’s famous “dream” from the I Have a Dream speech.


MTCC AmeriCorps VISTA Olivia Carney reads to students and Hellgate Elementary

MTCC AmeriCorps VISTAs (Alanna Reid, Michele Schahczenski, Olivia Carney, Erik Swanson and Jon Van Dyke), and VISTA Leaders (Austin Terreri and Lacy Fiore) organized Missoula’s largest MLK Day Read For Peace Event to date. VISTA Leader Lacy Fiore raised a total of $866 from the Missoula Barnes & Noble, which provided MLK books to libraries, schools and communities across Montana. In the Missoula area 8 elementary schools participated, including; Paxson, Hellgate, Rattlesnake, Lowell, Lewis & Clark, DeSmet, Russell and Bonner. A whopping 901 students were read to by 24 volunteers who contributed 38 hours. The volunteers who participated included: MTCC AmeriCorps VISTAs, MTCC Staff, community volunteers and two Missoula City Council members -Gwen Jones & Michelle Cares. After the reading, students participated in art projects that included drawing pictures to writing poems, all centered around the idea of peace and understanding the message of Dr. King. These wonderful pieces of art are currently displayed at the Missoula Barnes & Noble and Missoula Public Library

National service members serving with the Montana Campus Compact made an impact in many communities throughout Montana this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day. These volunteers are passionate about sharing the important messages of peace, understanding and nonviolence  and helping to make our world a better place. Congratulations to all of our MTCC AmeriCorps and VISTA members, and for our partners in the National Service, nonprofit and education sectors for contributing to our democracy and for striving to complete MLK’s dream in your own way. Thank you for your service.