On March 21, Key Peninsula Middle School and Peninsula High School will have the chance to experience a celebration called “WE Day.” It will be a day of motivational speakers, musicians, sports figures and movie stars hosted in Seattle. There is only one way to receive a ticket: earn it through community service.

Flashback to last March, the Canadian phenomenon WE Day landed in Seattle for the first time. Fifteen thousand area youths who completed both local and global community service projects were treated to a who’s who of celebrity and inspirational speakers. Among this list were Jennifer Hudson, Martin Sheen, Magic Johnson, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Martin Luther King III and home-town favorite Macklemore.

After a storm of positive feedback surrounding the event, Peninsula School District sent out information to KPMS and PHS about participating this year. Both schools jumped in to bring this opportunity to their students.

The middle school is using an already strong community service presence to meet the WE Day prerequisites. The students are organizing three food drives to benefit Key Peninsula Food Services as part of their local community service.

According to Principal Jeri Goebel, 1,600 cans were raised during the first round and “we are upping our goal to 1,700 for our January food drive.” For the global portion, KPMS will organize its third-annual coin drive for a war-torn school in Liberia.

PHS will focus its community service for WE Day in February. The group spearheading the efforts is the school leadership team. They will also promote a coin drive for the global requirement, but it will be to specifically build a new school in a developing country.

Locally, the school will take part in “Share the Love Month” as a campaign to choose love over hate. English teacher and ASB advisor Danielle O’Leary emphasized how exciting it is to watch the students “realize the local and global impact this project brings to our community.”

WE Day itself is the exclamation point on a yearlong program called WE Act. The overall goal is inspiring young people to take action as agents of social change. Parent organization Free the Children, founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger in 2007, provides as much help as needed through curriculums, resources, guest speakers and ideas to get involved.

Before actually participating in the two forms of community service, students must send in an application, get motivated by inspirational stories and get educated through reading available materials. After the service is started, participants need to share it by submitting a report on plans and successes to Free the Children. O’Leary said that PHS students will have the chance to present their report to the School Board as well.

For information about WE Day, visit the Free the Children at freethechildren.com.

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