Daily News

Westfield State University Students Launch Campaign for MLK Jr. Family Services

WESTFIELD — Westfield State University students in the “Advanced Public Relations” course are launching a campaign, “Literacy is Currency,” for Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services.

The mission of MLK Jr. Family Services is to strive to foster an environment that nurtures and empowers the aspirations of individuals, families, and youth to achieve new realities of peace, social and economic justice, self-determination, self-actualization, and self-sufficiency.

The students’ campaign will create awareness for the organization and collect donations that will provide funds for its literacy program. The campaign will also provide new books that children will be interested in and have fun reading.

In order to meet their goal, the students are inviting the community to join two events, featuring games, raffles, and prizes including Stanley cups, beach supplies, and Westfield State gear. The events take place on Saturday, April 20 from noon to 5 p.m. outside Target at the Holyoke Mall; and Tuesday, April 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. inside Tim and Jeanne’s Dining Commons at Westfield State University.

The public-awareness campaign will take place on social media via the handle @owlprmlk and use the hashtag #literacyiscurrencymlk.

“We’re delighted to enhance our alliance with Westfield State University with the ‘Literacy is Currency’ initiative, reinforcing literacy’s crucial role as both an empowering tool and a source of excitement about reading, in line with MLK Jr.’s vision that ‘education is the passport to the future’” said Karon Forde, director of Youth Programs at MLK Jr. Family Services. “This project not only reflects our commitment to literacy, but also supports our efforts to elevate reading levels and foster a love of reading among children in our afterschool program. We praise the students for their exceptional commitment to this cause and eagerly await the project’s impact on both the children we serve and the participating university students’ educational journey.”

Suzanne Boniface, adjunct professor of Communication at Westfield State, explained that the course partners with a local nonprofit each semester to help the community through its civic-engagement program.

“These public relations students use the skills they have acquired from their studies and gain practical experience for their future careers,” she said, noting that her students’ campaign will increase awareness of the efforts of Martin Luther Family Jr. Family Services and help them purchase necessary supplies for their program.

Donations to this campaign can be made by Venmo @LiteracyIsCurrency or by visiting mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.