Thursday, March 23, 2023

This year, MLK Day falls during winter break. Since the lessons learned from Martin Luther King Jr. are so important and still resonate today, BPY celebrated his legacy and impact through powerful age appropriate assemblies before vacation. In the elementary school, in addition to the lessons and read-alouds shared in class, the students participated in a one-woman show presented by Sari Kopitnikoff, author of “That Jewish Moment.” After a brief introduction to the significance of MLK Day, Kopitnikoff introduced a variety of characters which helped the students learn about how they should treat each other. Some of the lessons included variety is beautiful; treat others the way you want to be treated; they have a lot in common; they are stronger together; they are all different and all important. Through the cast of characters, the students were able to internalize these important messages.

The middle school students also had an assembly for MLK Day. After an introductory video, Mrs. Maron shared her experience with desegregation in Austin, Texas in the 70s. The Austin schools were still segregated, and after a legal battle, the school district used mandatory busing to try to desegregate the schools. The students then met in small break out sessions to discuss how they can effectively bring about change when there are issues that impact their community and the world around them. They learned from Martin Luther King Jr. the importance of using peaceful protests and the legal system to help make the world a better place. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is much more encompassing than just his, “I have a dream” speech. Everyone has a responsibility to fight against inequality when it rears its ugly head. Martin Luther King Jr. modeled how to come together to bring about change.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

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