AKA Sorority Chapter hosts successful MLK STEM Day

Published 6:34 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and their commitment to provide “Service to All Mankind,” the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Lambda Psi Omega Chapter in Franklin, partnered with Franklin City Public Schools to present an MLK Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Day to kick off the Youth Leadership Institute portion of the sorority’s “Uplift Our Local Community” Initiative. 

An FCPS news release noted that just less than 100 third, fourth and fifth grade students, their siblings and parents attended the MLK STEM Day held at Samuel P. Morton Elementary School on Jan. 16.

Attendees were greeted by FCPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Carlton Carter and members of Lambda Psi Omega Chapter. As an icebreaker, students were rewarded for responding correctly to MLK and STEM trivia questions. Afterward, the students participated in MLK Day-themed STEM projects.

The third graders constructed an MLK monument in a marshmallow STEM challenge called “What’s Your Life Blueprint?” The fourth graders engineered a straw bridge using the Edmund Pettus Bridge as a reference in an activity called “Bridging the Gap to Freedom,” and the fifth graders constructed podiums in an activity called “A New Podium for Dreams.” First, second and third place awards were distributed for the creations from each class, and each participant received a certificate of participation. The three grade-level activities were led by Lambda Psi  Omega Chapter members: Yvette Davis with the third graders; Keisha Nichols with the fourth graders; and Natasha Myrick with the fifth graders.

While the third through fifth graders completed their activities, their siblings and parents circulated through activity rooms that featured MLK coloring, stories, creative writing of their own “I Have A Dream” speech, and a Just Dance interactive activity. The students observed free time in the gymnasium where they enjoyed music from the DJ, Southampton High School Band Director Xavier Fain, and snacked on popcorn and cotton candy. Each student, sibling and parent left the event with a to-go lunch, consisting of a hot dog, chips, a healthy snack and a drink.

Students and parents were also given the opportunity to “shop” for free snacks and drinks thanks to a generous donation from the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Lambda Psi Omega Chapter would like to extend its gratitude to the Foodbank, to the two private individuals who donated the hot dogs and hot dog buns for the to-go lunches, and to the support staff of S.P. Morton Elementary School. 

To aid in the success of the MLK STEM Day, members of the Franklin/Southampton Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi were present to provide support to the 2022-23 Debutantes and Beaus who  

volunteered in the STEM classrooms to earn community service hours. The Debutantes present were Zakiyah Smith, Katelin Dawson, Kameile Carrington, Iyana Taylor, Mia Ricks, Shaimeer Shearin, Jamiya Walker, Shavaria Hillard and Kiersten Nichols. Beaus present were Alvin Hicks Jr., Travian Wilkerson, LaVonte Evans, Shawn Battle and Justin Preau.

The Lambda Psi Omega Chapter, under the leadership of its president, Renna Ebron, embarked upon this MLK STEM Day to initiate its “Uplift Our Local Community” Initiative in which the chapter has partnered with FCPS to aid in the success of the S.P. Morton Elementary School third, fourth and fifth graders over the next four years through continued exposure to STEM, field trips, tutoring and mentoring.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of nearly 300,000 members in 1,024 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the U.S., Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.