Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2016

A Day ON, Not a Day OFF

For MLK Day 2016, Boston Cares has created opportunities for 650 volunteers to support literacy programming in classrooms. MLK Day volunteers will create Reading Success Kits for the Lee Academy, Winship Elementary, and Edward Everett Elementary Schools within Boston Public Schools. Each Reading Success Kit will include a small bookshelf, grade-specific books, literacy games, hand-made picture books to serve as "story starters" and classroom sets of literacy flashcards and reading journals. Additionally, students at Lee Academy will each receive a lap desk they can take home with them to support their learning outside of school hours.

By the end of the day, we hope to create the following:

  • Build, sand, and paint 50 bookshelves
  • Create 100 literacy games
  • Create 1,250 reading journals
  • Craft 120 "story starter" picture books to facilitate story telling
  • Assemble 1,200 grade-specific literacy flashcards
  • Create 180 lapdesks for students to take home and serve as a portable learning space

Volunteers will select an activity station based on age and interest, with an additional station for our youngest volunteers to decorate bookmarks. There is a project for all ages! Completed items will be packed together before distribution to schools.

This is a fun, flexible, and family friendly event! Children as young as 5 and their families are welcome to attend. There are projects for all ages! Space is limited so sign-up soon! Pre-registration is required!

Date: Monday, January 18th, 2016
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm
Kick off at 10:00am sharp with Emcee Vanessa Welch, new co-anchor of FOX25 News and Mayor of Boston Martin J. Walsh.
Location: Boston Latin School, 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115 (T-Accesible, Green Line- E Train at Longwood Medical Area)


Click the button below to sign up for our weekly e-alert and/or special notifications of future major days of service, including MLK Day.

All slots are currently full and VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

We are running several projects this day:
Please click on the links below to sign up for these projects!

General, Family-Friendly Projects (literacy games, hand-made picture books to serve as "story starters" and classroom sets of literacy flashcards and reading journals)

Constructing Bookshelves

New Volunteer Orientation
(attend if you'd like to become a Boston Cares members and sign up for more future projects!) 

Please click on the links above to sign up for these projects. Pre-registration is required in order to attend. These opportunities are open to individuals, families, children ages 5+, and groups. Please click here for detailed information on signing up as a group or family. 

If you are under 18 years old, you will need to bring a signed waiver in order to participate. Please download this and have a parent sign it -- you will need this in order to participate! 

Please remember that there must be one adult for every three youth under 18!

Please email or call Allegra Marra with any questions:, 617-422-0910 x 206.

Media & Corporate Groups

Members of the press are again welcome to cover the event, which is Boston's largest MLK day of service. Companies are welcome to participate in MLK Day as sponsors with benefits including reserved volunteer slots for employees, clients, and their families (ages 5+). Your corporate support helps to make this service event free and open for the general public. For media and corporate sponsorship inquiries only, please contact Kirsten Alexander, Director of Development & Marketing at 617-422-0910 x210  or

About this National Day of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"
Each year, Boston Cares volunteers join Americans across the country to answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service 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.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an iconic civil rights leader who believed that every person can make a difference in their community. His teachings were about alleviating poverty, ending racism and uniting communities in understanding and love.  On MLK Day 2016, 650 volunteers will meet community needs focused on supporting literacy programs in classrooms.