Wawona Middle School students honor MLK by volunteering on school holiday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "A day on, not a day off," that's a mission for a group of Wawona Middle School Students on this holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The goal of being a student here at Wawona is not just academics, not athletics, not social. It is understanding our community and understanding that it is important for us to give back," said Kimberly Villescaz, Wawona Middle School Principal.

Villescaz said she didn't have to convince students to participate, some even brought their parents and siblings along.

They spent part of Monday morning writing thank you cards for Valley veterans, creating appreciation notes for school staff, and creating a mural for Dr. King in the school cafeteria.

Many were just excited to help out.

"To be a part of something because at my old school we really didn't do anything like this before. So I came so I could help someone else," said Lilly Portales, Wawona Middle Student.

The biggest project for Wawona Middle School students will actually be a donation for the Fresno County Sheriff's Department in an emergency situation.

"What we are doing today is making fleece blankets for the police officers to give to people if there is an issue. So if it is cold outside they have blankets to give to them," said Julius Battles, Wawona Middle Student.

Principal Villescaz says all of these projects show the character of her students and staff.

"It is a holiday and they woke up early to be a part of this and so I think it says a lot for our community at Wawona and our surrounding community as well," she said.
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