Bear Tavern second graders Tyler Ansari, Alexis Bernstein and Logan Mullowney with bags packed to be distributed by Christine’s Hope for Kids.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to serving the community, Bear Tavern Elementary School students performed their own act of service for their local community on Jan. 13.

Students gathered for a schoolwide assembly to hear from the Rev. Gil Caldwell, a classmate and personal friend of King who helped him organize civil rights events in the Boston area. Caldwell discussed segregation, shared his experiences through photographs and paintings, and took questions from the student audience.

Following the assembly, Bear Tavern students partnered with the local charity Christine’s Hope for Kids to package items for several area charities. In the months prior to this event, students collected coins, new and used books, tooth brushes, toothpaste and cans of soup. Fifth grade students made scarves for the effort during their holiday brunch.

Christine’s Hope for Kids donated additional items like pajamas, blankets, crackers, teddy bears and bags. BT students decorated a number of the bags as well. In all, the students raised $3,435.91 and packaged 325 bags that will be distributed by Christine’s Hope.