WASHINGTON — President Obama honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy Monday by big-brothering members of the next generation.

Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughter Malia traveled to a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington site where they helped paint murals and assemble packets with flashcards and books to help the center’s young students improve their skills.

The family was joined by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and city police officers who are regular volunteers at the club.

Obama sat with a boy in a blue T-shirt and used a large marker to draw as they chatted. Reporters who spent a few minutes in the room observing couldn’t hear any part of Obama’s conversation with the boy. The first lady and Malia sat at separate tables with other children.

In a proclamation issued last week, Obama said the U.S. has made “undeniable progress” since King agitated for justice and equality But Obama said securing the gains requires “constant vigilance, not complacency,” and he called on all Americans to stand together for good jobs, fair wages, safe neighborhoods and quality education.

Much of Obama’s Cabinet fanned out across the country on Monday to participate in community service projects.