(January 2022)—During the week prior to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrated on Monday, January 17, students in Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen engaged in activities designed to raise their awareness and understanding of the critical contributions Dr. King made to the civil rights movement in the United States.
One of the ways James A. Dever Elementary students celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was by researching his life and discussing the cause and effects of the accomplishments of his movement. Students gained access to a digital Martin Luther King, Jr. library in Google Classroom where they read picture books about his life and work. In addition to learning about the American civil rights pioneer, students took pictures of themselves, put them on google slides, and wrote what their dreams for the world are. Additionally, students exercised their artistic skills by drawing portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wheeler Avenue Elementary students honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by reading Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. Students were able to talk about amazing words that he loved and what they meant such as peace, love, kindness, equality, and fairness. Afterward, the students drew portraits of Dr. King and created a bulletin board titled, “We Love Dr. King: Love is the Key.” Another activity had students focusing on a different word each morning. For example, for the word “fair”, one of the students expressed that she would share her toys with her brother. Another student shared that he would play nicely with his friends, while yet another student said she would be fair and take turns with her classmates on the swings.
Willow Road Elementary School discussed the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. Students talked about his dream and what peace, love, friendship, and trust meant to them. Students also had the chance to make peace sign artwork and to find ways how they can make the world a better place with their own two hands.
Howell Road Elementary School sang Sing About Martin by Miss Jackie. The students were able to practice listening and following step-by-step directions as they drew a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They chose 3 words that describe Dr. King and added the words to their drawing. All the schools in the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen had a meaningful experience taking part in interactive activities designed to further illuminate the ideals and values Dr. King stood and fought for during his lifetime.