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School improvement projects, celebrations, parades planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks April 15,1967 at a peace rally in New York City.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks April 15,1967 at a peace rally in New York City.
AP Photo

Work is planned on gardens at several Los Angeles Unified School District campuses Monday to fulfill the goal of making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a day of service in honor of the slain civil rights leader.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to be at George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles where an area of the athletic field will be prepared for a Mediterranean garden. Apple trees will be planted along the school's perimeter, and other landscaped areas will be mulched and weeded.

The earth also will be turned at Braddock Elementary School in Culver City and at Orville Wright Middle School in Westchester, while various projects will be undertaken on a newly constructed school garden at Micheltorena Elementary School in Silver Lake.

More than 1,000 volunteers under the auspices of the volunteer center L.A. Works will be at Rosemont Elementary School in Echo Park to paint murals, create a reading nook in the library and a game room, construct planter benches in a new literacy garden and beautify a school garden.

Supporters of Organizing for America, a grassroots project of the Democratic National Committee promoting Obama's agenda, will clean and plant a community garden at Crenshaw High School and donate blood at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Santa Monica's four-day observance of King's legacy will conclude with a celebration beginning at 9 a.m. at the SGI-USA Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd. The multiethnic interfaith program will include inspirational readings, speakers, musical performances and a presentation of scholarships.

The keynote speaker will be Val Zavala, the anchor of KCET-TV Channel 28's “SoCal Connected” and the station's vice president of news and public affairs.

A community involvement fair will follow from 10:30 a.m. to noon at 606 Wilshire Blvd.

The annual Kingdom Day Parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Western Ave and proceeds to Leimert Park.

More than 500 people are expected for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast at the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley, 11251 Glenoaks Blvd., in Pacoima.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Council members Richard Alarcon and Tony Cardenas and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Van Nuys) are among those scheduled to attend the event, which is free to attend.

Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) will be among the honorees at the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration hosted by Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel.

“Dr. King's legacy has given us the power to organize, to mobilize, to energize and to be the change we need,” said Villaraigosa, who will designate the day as the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Los Angeles, mirroring a nationwide call by President Barack Obama.

“His legacy lives on through our struggle to ensure that every child of any color from any neighborhood can grow up in a peaceful environment with countless opportunities for a successful future,” said the mayor.

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