Central High School students take up service for school on MLK Day

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KANSAS CITY -- It may be a national holiday, but schools are not closed everywhere to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The doors to Central Academy of Excellence are open to pay tribute to the civil rights leader with a day of service.

Many students would welcome the opportunity to sleep in on a rainy Monday.

Not at Central High School, where about 25 to 30 students are joining dozens of other volunteers to beautify their building.

Those who showed up early were greeted with cheers by mentors from City Year in Kansas City, the non-profit that is helping create more than 20 murals inside the school.

The artwork will depict prominent African American leaders, or inspirational quotes designed to motivate students like Chloe Roberts.

The sophomore tells FOX 4 her school has become a place where she wants to be, not somewhere she has to go.

"It’s important because this is the school I go to," Roberts said. "And it’s good to have pride in the school and to actually show that you care about the school."

The new principal says it's important that the school become a welcoming place for the surrounding neighborhoods.

And students who understand the value of serving others are more likely to be successful in their lives.

This is one of many service projects taking place all across the metro, as more recognize King's dream of unity can be achieved by working to make the entire community a better place.