EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD)–Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday designed to encourage Americans to spend the day volunteering to help improve their communities. The holiday is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January in honor of King’s birthday, January 15, 1929.

Two local youth organizations teamed up on Monday morning to commemorate the civil rights leader’s legacy with a community-wide cleanup.

Shemekia Morgan, founder of the Youthful Praise Dance Ministry, said this year the organization partnered with Young Artist Studio.

“Just wanted students to not sleep in on MLK day, to actually have some type of activity to do,” Morgan said.

For the 11th annual event, student volunteers met at St. John Missionary Baptist Church to kick off the day of service.

Helping to organize this year’s event was the Young Artist Studio, a youth prevention group based on students who attend El Dorado High School. Stephanie Owens, YAS director, said the cleanup is a good opportunity for young students to give back.

“I take it as a teaching moment for our youth. It starts with us and that’s why we are so excited to be here every year,” Owens said.

Event founder Shemekia Morgan said she plans to bring this event back next year and hopes to see more volunteers in attendance.