By Jim Melwert

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Martin Luther King Day Jr. events are underway across the region, including Montgomery County.

About 500 kids are part of Perkiomen Valley School District’s fifth annual day of service.

“It’s really a great day for everyone to come out and give back to their community.”

One of the organizers, Jessica Lester, says it started by finding places for high school students to volunteer, then elementary school students were added, and now this year the middle school is part too.

Lester says one goal is to teach students volunteering or helping is more than just one day a year.

“We’re hoping that it will keep spreading and service becomes a way of life for a lot of people.”

Fourth grader JJ was getting the message as he made cat toys for a local animal shelter.

“It feels because my friends are here, we’re having a good time doing a good thing.”

Other projects include recycling plastic bags into mats for the homeless and repurposing old jeans for an organization that turns them into shoes.