BOSTON (CBS) — More than 400 eighth graders representing the commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns launched their year of service Saturday in Boston as Project 351 ambassadors.

Gov. Deval Patrick hosted a full day of service and enrichment for the students, including a morning Town Meeting at historic Faneuil Hall, an afternoon of service at nonprofit organizations across Boston, and a closing “call to service” at the Statehouse.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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The day began with the Town Meeting, which Orchard Gardens first-graders  highlighted with an abbreviated recitation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. Orchard Gardens, which is located on Albany Street, serves students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

The governor, who was moved to tears by the first-graders’ performance, paraphrased a quotation from King to encourage the students to do whatever they can to better their communities. “All you need is a heart filled with grace, a soul motivated by love,” he said.

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Founded in 2011, Project 351 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating youth leadership, inspiring the ethic of service, and building unity across the commonwealth, according to a prepared statement from the group.