Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through Compassion

By: Mrs. Kristina Jones

During the second week of January, students in the lower school discussed the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in library class. They read about his childhood, his famous speeches, his marches, and his dreams. On Friday, January 12, the lower school honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King by acting on his words “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ’What are you doing for others?’”

As the day began, the lower school children gathered in the library for a morning meeting. This month’s meeting highlighted the core virtue of compassion: the act of reaching out to someone who is in need of assistance. The children were taught to greet someone compassionately by looking, listening, thinking and acting. Dr. King fought for all people, no matter the color of their skin, to be treated fairly and compassionately. He believed that everyone has the power to make the world a better place. We just have to act.

The students spent the rest of the morning rotating between three stations that each highlighted compassion. The first station explained that we all have a light inside of us, and one way we let our light shine is by treating others with compassion. During this station, the students learned the song “This Little Light of Mine…I’m Gonna Let it Shine.”

During the second station, students read and discussed the story Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco. This is a lovely story of an elderly woman and her neighbor, each of different races and religions, who epitomize compassion.

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The students paired up in a third station to construct a project commemorating Dr. King and his dream that all people can live together peacefully. Students traced the hand of their partner in various skin tones and traded one of the hands with each other. The students put these hands together, interlocking them, to make a heart.  Below the heart, the students wrote a personal reflection based on a takeaway of Dr. King’s mission for the world.

The morning culminated with the lower school visiting our neighbors at Colonial Manor to sing to the residents. The children shared their gift of song to live out Dr. King’s message of doing for others.

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