On Jan. 15, West Orange Public Schools celebrated the Martin Luther King Junior holiday with initiatives in classrooms district wide, and with remembrance events.
Highlights included: Mount Pleasant Elementary School who held their annual “Peace Walk” to commemorate the holiday. At 1:30 PM on the sunny and cold day, students carried handmade signs and placards with peace themes, marching around the school property to the sounds of peace march music from the 1960’s.
At the conclusion of the march event resource room students recited the famous “I Have A Dream” speech which Martin Luther King Junior gave on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Teachers and students acknowledged this speech as the defining moment in the history of the Civil Rights Movement in America, and significant in the ongoing efforts to ensure equal rights for all Americans.
At West Orange High School, students crafted “dream collages” to depict the ideas and images embodied in the “I Have a Dream” speech, which will be on display for all to enjoy. Redwood Elementary School created a scene in the hallway depicting the 1963 march on Washington including images of the Washington Monument and a life-size Martin Luther King Junior image.
Thomas Edison Middle School students viewed the iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, created their own commemorative stamps, and engaged in mock interviews to analyze the issues of racial segregation, and prejudice then and now. Students created an art project called “The Cloud” to display in the halls, capturing their thoughts on the speech and are launching a month-long series of activities.
Pleasantdale Elementary School embarked on a study of Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy and struggle across grades and curricula, including research projects, creation of a pledge to make the world a better place, a “Kindness and Justice Campaign,” art activities and the performance of an original MLK rap song.