NEWS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
January 10, 2000
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senator Rodney Ellis, Martin Luther King III Challenge Houston Students to Perform Acts of Kindness & Justice for 2000 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
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HOUSTON -- Senator Rodney Ellis and Martin Luther King III are inviting teachers and students in Houston to participate in the third annual Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge, an innovative school-based leadership initiative that encourages students in grades K-12 to perform Acts of Kindness and Justice for two weeks following the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday.

"My father had a dream of a world where each of us has the opportunity to live up to our potential," said Martin Luther King III, Chair of the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge. "We want America's young people to express their own dreams for a better world and perform acts of kindness and justice to help make their dreams a reality."

Each day between January 17 - 28, 2000, millions of students nationwide will learn the values- taught by Dr. King - responsibility, compassion, honesty, nonviolence and moral courage - and put these lessons into practice by performing acts of kindness and justice in their schools, homes and communities. During the first two years of the initiative, more than 2 million students from 25,000 schools performed acts of kindness and justice to honor Dr. King's life and legacy.

"Challenging young people to perform acts of kindness and justice will help keep Dr. King's dream alive," said Senator Rodney Ellis, a member of the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge National Honorary Board. "We want students to realize their power to make a difference."

Educators spend approximately 15-25 minutes each day teaching about the life, legacy and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students write down their individual acts of kindness and justice, and each school posts their acts on Do Something's website -- www.dosomething.org -- where students keep track of their community-building efforts and share stories and experiences with students nationwide. Top performing students and schools will receive national recognition and are eligible to win prizes such as trips to exciting major sporting events, courtesy of General Motors.

Every school in the nation is invited to participate. Educators can register on the Internet at www.dosomething.org, by calling Do Something at 212-523-1189 or by writing to Do Something, 423 W. 55th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10019 (Attention: Kindness & Justice Challenge). Each teacher who registers will receive a free Educator Guide with an age-appropriate curriculum, instructions for posting Acts of Kindness and Justice on the Internet and incentives to encourage student participation.

"Like my father, I believe in the power of young people to change the world," said King. "Through the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge, students can put into practice the ideals to which my father devoted his life."

"If students can commit to one day of kindness and justice, then they can commit to a week of kindness and justice -- a week becomes a year, a year becomes a lifetime," King said.

Sponsors of the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge include General Motors, Applied Materials, Blockbuster, bolt.com and Channel One. The Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge was created in partnership with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Corporation for National Service, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, American Association of School Administrators, Communities in Schools, Ethics Resource Center, Center for Effective Compassion, Council of Great City Schools, Stand for Children, Youth Service America, the Enterprise Foundation, the national YMCA and Community Impact.

Do Something is a national nonprofit organization that inspires young people to believe that change is possible, and trains, funds and mobilizes them to be leaders who measurably strengthen their communities. Through grants, school-based leadership initiatives and an online portal for youth activism, Do Something is building a movement of young leaders who are taking action to change the world. For more information about Do Something, call 212-523-1175 or visit Do Something's website at www.dosomething.org


Do Something Kindess & Justice Challenge

WHAT is it? The Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge is a national student-led movement to achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by performing Acts of Kindness (helping others) and Justice (standing up for what is right) for two weeks following the King National Holiday (January 17-28, 2000). Since 1998, more than 2 million students from 25,000 schools have performed Acts of Kindness and Justice to honor Dr. King's life and legacy.

How does it WORK? Between January 17 - 28, 2000, students in grades K-12 learn important values such as respect, responsibility, compassion, nonviolence, generosity and moral courage and put these values into action by performing Acts of Kindness and Justice in their schools, homes and neighborhoods. Students and teachers post their "Acts" on Do Something's interactive website (www.dosomething.org), keeping track of their community-building efforts and sharing stories and experiences with students nationwide.

Are there RESOURCES for Educators? Yes. Do Something provides educators with a free, age-appropriate, service-learning and character education curriculum. Daily activities offer creative exercises to help students understand the meaning of kindness and justice and live these values through their actions. Educators can easily adapt the daily lessons - which take about 20 minutes - into their existing classroom activities.

How much does it COST? It's FREE. Educators who register for the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge will receive a FREE age-appropriate curriculum and instructions for participation.

Are there REWARDS and RECOGNITION? Yes! Do Something provides opportunities for students and educators to receive recognition for their community-building accomplishments. All participating students receive a certificate signed by Martin Luther King III (included in the curriculum materials). Do Something awards trophies to top performing students in each state. Outstanding students, educators and schools are also eligible to win prizes such as Blockbuster gift cards and trips to exciting sporting events courtesy of General Motors.

How do I GET INVOLVED? Educators and students can register for the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge 2000 on the Internet at www.dosomething.org, by calling 212-523-1189 or by writing to DO SOMETHING at 423 West 55th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10019 (Attention: Kindness & Justice Challenge).

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