Friday, January 25, 2013

Kids celebrate MLK Week

I visited the Mabee Red Shield Boys and Girls Club yesterday to talk to the kids about Martin Luther King, Jr. and find out what they know. Turns out that they know a lot, likely more than some adults!

Chrinasia, age seven, is a second grader at Hawthorne Elementary. I’m naming her the resident Martin Luther King Scholar of the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club. Here’s what she shared:

“He was a civil rights leader fighting for his country so that white people and black people could go in the same bathroom. Maybe he wanted to be president. He would walk with the national flag. He was a preacher and he also had a dream. He dreamed that his four little children could live in a good nation." Then Chrinasia recited the best known passages of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, word for word, and with expression. Turns out that her 23-member reading group memorized the speech and recited it in front of the whole school.

Marcus, an eight year old who attends Hawthorne Elementary, said Dr. King had a dream.
“He knew the world was not fair, because you couldn’t go to all the white restaurants. There was a colored sign at some. You had to sit on the back of the bus. Whites sat on the front of the bus. So he wanted to do a speech about freedom. He gave freedom to African Americans. Now can I tell you about the Civil War? “ Marcus said. I have to save that for a later date, and I hope by then that Marcus has learned that it did not involve George Washington.

Manny, age seven, a student at Sequoyah Elementary, said: “He was a man trying to" and then he searched my face. “I’m just going to say it, trying to stop my people from slavery. He was trying to stop them in peace, without weapons. Someone burned his house and someone shot him.”  Although Manny’s teacher might correct him on the differences between slavery and segregation, I think Manny is close enough.

In conclusion, teachers and parents and the kids can be proud of remembering the important things about Dr. King. They’ve got it down! -Sallie

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