MLK Day volunteers gathering around Philadelphia, nation

- Schools, banks and government offices may be closed, but Martin Luther King Day has become a day on rather than a day off.

FOX 29’s Lauren Johnson has been at Girard College, where 5,000 volunteers are expected.

They’ll be building bookshelves donated by Ikea, and stocking those shelves with 18,000 brand new books donated by Scholastic.

That’ll create mini-libraries with 80 books in each shelf, and help promote Mayor Jim Kenney’s pre-kindergarten program. But they’ll be found in non-conventional places children go, such as barber shops, laundromats and health facilities.

Workers started preparing at about 4am and told Lauren the early wake up was easy, considering the payoff. (Click the picture for other events.)

In Kingsessing, FOX 29 News found a lot of hard work on a day off at the Francis Myers Recreation Center. In the gym, high school students and mentors from Philadelphia University were building planter boxes for a nearby park. Also, volunteers painted inside the center and outside, kids cleaned up a block of Cecil Street.

Starting 9:30am, the National Constitution Center’s Martin Luther King Day program will include a commemoration, educational programs, book drive, and a special performance of King’s 'I Have a Dream' Speech. 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Admission $5.

FOX 29's Alex Holley will be there, packaging supplies for Philly schools and collecting books for a local women's shelter.

At the African-American Museum, enjoy a full weekend of fun, inspirational, family-friendly activities in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 701 Arch Street Philadelphia. Admission $2.

Mayor Kenney is scheduled to speak at 2pm at the MLK Day of Service at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street.

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