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MLK Celebrations at the King School

MLK Celebrations at the King School
Posted on 02/06/2015
As we are the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School we felt that we had an even greater responsibility to ensure that the students begin to have a solid understanding of who MLK was as a man and why he is so important to our country. It was also very important to us that our presentation be developmentally appropriate and relevant to the daily lives of our students.

We began our celebrations with an all school assembly. After a quick welcome from our principal, students watched the video version of the book “Martin’s Big Words”, we then projected and highlighted student artwork of MLK and ended the assembly with a group sing of Happy Birthday and the presentation of a birthday cake that students sampled at lunch.
 
Over the next several days students circulated through three distinct stations designed to educate and allow student voices to be heard.

Music
Our music teachers, Ms Maxwell and Ms Gaudette, headed the music station. At this stations students learned a few of the songs used during the Civil Rights Movement and marches. They where asked to think about why the marchers sang. They learned a bit about the march for voter rights, clapping on the upbeat and the “Freedom Now” chant. They made the connection between Rosa Parks and the song “We Shall not be Moved” They connected King’s quote “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that” and the song “This little Light of Mine”

Discussion
The Assistant Principal, Ms. Cohen led the discussion groups. She introduced the students to who MLK was as a person and the pivotal events that helped to shape him into the man he became. They discussed his time as a student at Boston University, The March on Washington, and The Montgomery Bus Boycott as well as defined the word “segregation”. Finally, they talked about how we as a community can make sure that everyone feels respected and safe.

Mural
The Family Liaison Ms Hicks-Gyewu’s station was the mural. The groups were led through a short discussion where they spoke about what they already knew about MLK and what makes him an important figure. A key point of this discussion was to highlight the fact that King used his words to solve problems and to fight injustice. They where then asked to draw any representation that they wanted to of King or any other aspect of the civil rights struggles.