This past Monday, the United States honored the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the young preacher who devoted his life to freedom, equality and justice for all. His famous speech, I Have a Dream, that was delivered on August 28, 1963 became one of the defining moments of the civil rights movements and one of the most iconic speeches in American history.
In celebration and honor of the holiday, Harding and Grover Cleveland Elementary, both United Way community schools, hosted school-wide projects that centered around Dr. King's dream of what the future would look like. “What do you want your future to like?" Was presented as a question to students and on Friday, January 13, the students were asked to “Dress like your future self.”
Shanna Potter, Harding community school director shared, “Harding honored the life of Dr. King with 'Follow Your Dreams Day.' Students were invited to dress as their "future self." This could be an outfit that represents their future career path or dream that they have for the world. While learning about the work of Dr. King, students explored their own dreams and how they are capable of being future world-changers! Each student completed a "dream" cloud that was displayed throughout our hallways.”
Shanna went on, “If I could tell our Harding students anything about their future selves, it would be that they are capable of anything. They are creative and kind and give me hope for the future. The dreams that they shared were so inspirational - to make rent more affordable, to develop school therapy programs for students, for more shelters for homeless people and animals. I know that these children will change the world.”
Sara Musone, Grover Cleveland community school director added, “Grover also had a 'Follow Your Dreams Day' in honor of Dr. King and his dreams of peace and equality. Much like Dr. King, we know our Cougars are going to change the world.”
Sara went on, “If I could say one thing to our students it would be, you are as good as anyone else and when you are unsure of the next right thing, kindness is always the answer.”
Many United Way Community Schools participated in celebrating MLK Day with a variety of student activities including guest readers visiting classrooms to read books about diversity, video presentations as well as taking part in the annual MLK day walk in downtown Erie.