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The Institute for Educational Opportunities asked Zara Berg, Carlton Nelson and Coulter Wyant to describe their experiences with the the Institute programs. Listen to how Zara, Carlton and Coulter talk about how the Institute programs changed their lives.


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Butte Schools Honor Martin Luther King Jr Day with Reading

BUTTE, Mont. -

Watch the video here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a national holiday since 1983, although it took until 2000 for all 50 states to recognize the holiday. It is a day of remembrance and community service. Butte schools used the holiday to teach students why the day is so important. 

King was a civil rights leader, minister and activist. He preached freedom for everyone no matter the color of their skin.

"He wanted to bring peace to the world and that white and black could get along," said Emerson Elementary School second grader Danika Carr. "He had a dream to stop the wars and the violence of black and whites."

It's a history that Butte social studies teacher John Stenson thinks everyone should learn about.

"I think a lot of kids don't understand the full impact of Martin Luther King and what he did, sacrifices he made, even that time period in the 1960s, so I think it's great the more they learn about things like this," Stenson said.

Some East Middle School students did community service projects at the Butte Food Bank to celebrate the holiday. They scooped up pounds of raw pasta shells and put it in bags for boxes that will go to community members in need. The students made over 600 bags of pasta Monday.

The Butte Food Bank helps 750 households each month. That's about 2,600 individuals per month.

East Middle School stepped outside the classroom and used community service to teach students about civil rights and equality. Other schools like Emerson Elementary School had volunteers read stories about Martin Luther King, Jr. to teach them about the historical man and his movement.

"I don't know that much about it," said Carly Shea, a seventh grader at East Middle School. "I just know that he wanted things to be fair between everyone."

"He got people to get along and not like back in the day when people were so mean and the law was so different and he made the world a way better place," Carr told NBC Montana.

AmeriCorps volunteers and Montana Tech students read "My Uncle Martin's Big Heart" to students at Emerson Elementary.

"We're all still human beings, we're all still humans, (it) doesn't matter if we have different skins, we're all still humans," said Emerson Elementary School second grader Kieran Burt.

East Middle School students also made care packages Monday for troops and local first responders. Other students helped at the Butte Animal Shelter as part of the community service day.

Upward Bound Students Excels

The newly elected UB president, Summer Diegel, has also been elected as a national officer for SkillsUSA. Cory Chenoweth believes she said this is the first time that someone from Montana has been elected to national office.

In addition to all of her accolades and accomplishments (was also elected CHS speech and debate captain as a junior, earned her CNA license), this year was particularly momentous for her as it marked the first time someone from her family successfully completed 11th grade.

Summer finished up her SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City on June 23-27, 2014 for the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students.

Juneau Announces 31 New Members to Statewide Student Advisory Board

Helena, MT - Today, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced the addition of 31 new members to her statewide Student Advisory Board. The 2014-2015 board consists of 39 high school students from 34 Montana schools. Read More

The Institute for Educational Opportunities Volunteer Hours

The Institute for Educational Opportunities and its cadre of outreach programs gave 45,900 hours to the Southwest Montana community and beyond.

-Our 17 full time staff members donated 4,235 hours to programs and efforts that were in addition to the regular scope of their position.
-136 Montana Tech faculty donated time to one or more of our programs representing 816 hours.
-270 Montana Tech students donated time to one or more of our programs representing 949 hours.
-89 Montana Tech students donated 300 hours each to AmeriCorps service projects totaling 26,700
-100 volunteers from the community (mostly professionals from STEM disciplines) were recruited and utilized in our outreach efforts representing an additional 12,000 hours.
-600 high school students participating in our college preparatory programs participated in community service projects totaling 1,200 hours.

What is especially unique is all the service hours affiliated with the Institute are hours devoted in enhancing the educational pipeline in Montana. Our work is focused on inspiring students to pursue math and science interests.

Thank you to all who were involved in making this a possibility!