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Column: Promoting service, success and more at Nobles County Integration Collaborative

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobles County Integration (NCIC) is working hard during the month of January to promote service, student success and cultural integration.

The month of January is very significant because Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day of Service is on Jan. 21. NCIC utilizes this day by encouraging students to show acts of kindness through service. MLK Day is also a time to put into action Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy of empowering individuals to break social boundaries through service projects that help build bridges and strengthen communities. NCIC has planned many events in order to allow students to help their communities, increase leadership skills and student success.

On MLK Day of Service (Jan. 21), high school students who participate in NCIC out-of-school time programs and student volunteers from Southwest Star Concept high school will work together to facilitate the Color Project at Heron Lake Elementary School. The elementary students will talk about how skin color is not just black and white, but that there are many different shades of skin color. The elementary students will be able to mix different shades of paint to match their skin color and then paint a self-portrait. In addition, the students will learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his teachings by doing various craft activities.

This is a great leadership opportunity that also increases cultural integration among the students. This event is funded through the Southwest Initiatives Foundation Impact Grant.

Eighth-grade students that participate in Odyssey will be serving a meal to those less fortunate at the Banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Jan. 25. Students will be giving back by feeding impoverished children and adults. This will also be a humbling experience for the eighth-grade students who may not experience hardships on an everyday basis. In addition, the eighth-grade Odyssey students will facilitate Martin Luther King Jr. activities with students in the after school program at Prairie Elementary on Jan. 23.

At the end of January, students who participate in Youth Making Changes, Dynamic 507 and FCCLA will be collaborating to host a Mix It Up Day at the Worthington High School. Mix It Up Day encourages students during lunch to move out of their comfort zone and get to know someone new. This fosters inclusivity and a positive school environment.

To promote student success and inform students and parents about the importance of planning for the future, NCIC will be hosting a College Preparation Event. This event will be on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the West Learning Center, 117 11th Ave, Worthington. Sessions will be in English (room 126) and Spanish (room 124). This is free and open to students in grades 9-12. To register please contact NCIC, 376-3300.

For updates on upcoming events please visit our website at