Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Date: January 15, 2021
Each year on the third Monday of January, we celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. At Bondurant-Farrar, Monday’s instruction will center on lessons and activities that teach students about Dr. King’s activism for freedom and justice as well as how students themselves can carry on the dream he set forth.
Some of the learning and reflection activities taking place:
- Morris Elementary students will hear stories that share the messages of Dr. King, followed by an “I Have a Dream” writing activity or craft.
- Anderson Elementary students will watch videos of and read articles about Dr. King, followed by a variety of writing activities and group discussions. For example, 4th graders will read and discuss an article highlighting his life and accomplishments. Students will also watch the "I Have a Dream" speech and review its transcript, then discuss the purpose of each article and the different points of view.
- During social studies and language arts classes middle school students will participate in activities that compare Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X while others study the Black Lives Matter movement. 6th grade students in particular will focus on the Children's March of 1963 that led to Dr. King’s arrest followed by a lesson over his letter from a Birmingham jail.
- At the high school, students will view rarely seen footage of Dr. King speaking at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech "What Is Your Life's Blueprint?" We encourage families to discuss the video with your child and ask what they feel their life's blueprint is or could be.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service, which is evident through its motto - “a day on, not a day off.” In 1957, Dr. King was quoted saying, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” With that said, we encourage families to continue the conversation at home and to become more active in community service opportunities.
Family discussion / activity ideas:
- IPBS: Civil Rights Leader Video and Activity
- US Dept. of Educ: 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Understand the Significance of MLK Day
Volunteer opportunities in our area:
Through holding school on Monday, every student can be brought together to intentionally focus on the importance of Dr. King’s messages of racial equality and community service. We invite you to follow our district and building social media accounts for posts highlighting the day’s activities. It is our hope that after spending this time together, students and staff will continue the conversation and implement the day’s teachings beyond this holiday.
Each year our Board of Education adopts and works towards a variety of district goals. This year, three new goals were added in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Develop a deeper understanding of district needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Create an equitable, inclusive, and supportive school environment for all stakeholders.
- Begin developing a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion plan.
To start this important work, a committee made up of board members, staff, and parent volunteers will begin meeting in early February.
“The time is always right to do what is right.” -Martin Luther King Jr.