WEST ORANGE, NJ — Redwood Elementary School rallied to collect supplies for a meaningful service project to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) and successfully packaged 288 "Kindness Kits" that were donated to the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry.

Guidance Counselor Rebecca Beutel explained that students learned about Dr. King through videos, books, conversations and more in preparation for the event. Inspired by those lessons, students and staff were able to create nearly 300 kindness kits filled with toiletries, snacks, warm socks and gloves in MLK’s honor.

Students and staff were assigned to classrooms throughout the building that each contained students of all different grade levels, giving them the opportunity to meet new staff members and fellow students. Having students “mixed up” encouraged a sense of community, collaboration, and camaraderie.

During a 60-minute period, each group participated in "getting-to-know-you” activities, as well as learning activities related to MLK Day. Students then worked together to sort and assemble the kindness kits, adding their own personal touch by creating inspirational cards to their bags.