Applewild Students Celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy

16 Jan

On Friday, January 12, 2018, all Applewild kindergarten through eighth grade students honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. As a school, we celebrate this incredibly meaningful holiday each year, and we encourage our students to think critically and carefully about Dr. King’s powerful, inspiring role in our country and world.

On Friday, Lower School students (grades kindergarten through five) presented their collaborative, creative, and insightful work and ideas during Common Time. Students worked on their projects and presentations throughout the week, and were eager to share their thoughts with and in front of classmates and teachers. Earlier that morning, Upper School students (grades six through eight) participated in a group reading of Samuel Francis Smith’s 1832 poem, ‘America’ (also known as ‘My Country, ‘Tis of Thee), and listened to portions of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Mrs. Lent, Lower School Head, noted the following regarding the Lower School students’ presentations: “Our students’ heartfelt words are always moving and are a great reminder to us that we are preparing the next generation of citizens to do important and life-changing work.” From first graders presenting their own ‘I Have a Dream’ speeches, to third graders presenting the causes that they would each march for as individuals, to fourth graders discussing the leadership of Coretta Scott King, Lower School students shared thoughtful opinions and facts with one another.

In the Upper School, students were encouraged to think deeply about Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech – both about the power of the words within the speech, in addition to the deliberate use of Dr. King’s chosen words as a talented, inspiring orator. Here, Upper School students united a significant historical time period with the pure power of our written and spoken language. While the speech played, students quietly read along, highlighting the words and phrases that meant the most to them as individuals. Upper School students then broke up into smaller, mixed groups of six through eighth graders and were immersed in discussions regarding what they had heard and felt, thinking critically about our country’s past and present, and the future they will each help create.