More than 20 area daycares and nonprofit organizations will be getting a face lift from Virginia Tech students, faculty, and local community members in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Daycare Facelift Project will take place Jan. 22.

Virginia Tech students are working with local daycare managers to map out a work plan with the cosmetic needs of each daycare. The students are afforded a $100 budget by Virginia Tech's Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships with help from a grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact and the Corporation for National Community Service.

Starting in November, Virginia Tech students signed up to recruit teams of 10 friends and peers to join them on the day of the event. On that day, teams will work from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at their project sites to help with cleaning, painting, and minor repairs.

The festivities start on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. with a private dinner to provide a place for reflection on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service for the student leaders. The dinner will be held at the Blacksburg Community Center. The keynote speaker will be Wayne Muhammad, business manager of the Christiansburg Institute.

At 10 a.m. Jan. 22, student leaders and their teams will gather in Litton-Reaves Hall and then head to their project sites.

“It’s amazing, as with any group, to see how much work a group of committed students can do. It’s amazing how much those small cosmetic changes can communicate care,” says Jake Grohs, assistant director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

Participating daycares include Rainbow Riders Childcare, Bright Beginnings Childcare, Blacksburg Daycare Center, Children’s Nest Child Care, Valley Interfaith Child Care, Kids Heaven Child Care, Blacksburg United Methodist Church Preschool, Kids and Co. Child Development Center, Tender Lovin’ Care Child Center, Radford Child Care Center, Eckman YMCA Child Care Center, Busy B’s Daycare Center, R.O.C.K. Club, Dublin United Methodist Learning Center, Milestones Child Care, Blacksburg Head Start, Christiansburg Head Start, Pulaski Head Start, and Radford Head Start.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, contact Phil Courey at the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

Many events celebrating the Virginia Tech’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week of Service are scheduled through Jan. 22. Events scheduled for the celebration are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Through Jan. 31, Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest winning posters will be on display in downtown Blacksburg locations.

Jan. 22 at 10 a.m., the Martin Luther King Jr. Daycare Facelift Project will take place. Project leaders and teams will meet at Litton-Reaves Hall then head to the project sites. Registration is required. For more information or to register contact the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships at (540) 231-0485.

Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Community Meal at Fieldstone United Methodist Church in Christiansburg. For more information or to register contact the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships at (540) 231-0691.

The celebration is supported by several campus and community organizations including Virginia Tech's Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Pamplin College of Business, Vice President of Administrative Services, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education, Vice President of Finance, Dean of Students Office, Vice President for Research, Vice President for Student Affairs, The Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships, Vice President for Undergraduate Education, Vice President for Development and University Relations, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Lecture Fund, Multicultural Programs and Services, the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Black Student Alliance, Black Organizations Council, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., and The Center of Dance Academy.

Written by Lexi Edwards.