Inspired to Action: Lower School Looks at the Legacy of Dr. King

MB’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continued this week in the Lower School. Across grades, students focused on MLK and his legacy.

In third grade, students watched a video of King’s I Have a Dream speech and looked at the words Dr. King  shared during his life. They discussed phrases that resonated with them – ones they think should live on in the future and continue to inspire change and action. They then created artful representations of these words, phrases, and quotes for a class display that anyone who enters third grade will see.

In the Lower School’s Debbie Goff Library, students have examined civil rights as a month-long focus. The lower school Library has a rich, abundant collection of Civil Rights and Rights leaders texts —biographies, history, primary fiction, poetry. Librarian Jane Allard has used books such as Together We March to facilitate discussion of different types of movements and demonstrations that people use to fight for what they believe in.

“We’ve had valuable discussions highlighted by students’ personal life connections,” she comments, “adding great depth to our time in the Library. I want the topic to be relatable for them and help students to learn more about Martin Luther King as a person, in addition to the hero, learning about MLK the man; he was an uncle, a swimmer, and more.”

Students read about both Dr. King’s young and adult lives, developed timelines for his life of activism as it developed, discussed the vocabulary of justice work, and read books that share stories of service and work for justice. “My hope is to embolden students to talk about service and come up with elements of activism in their lives,” Jane says, connecting student study of MLK with MB’s roots and values as a Friends school.