Schools Honor the Legacy of Dr. King

Schools Honor the Legacy of Dr. King
Posted on 01/22/2021
Superintendent Ponds participated remotely in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast along with fellow community members. For 32 years the Scholarship Fund has awarded scholarships and financial support to 153 students. During his segment, Dr. Ponds said, “Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King, especially during these challenging times is especially significant. During these times, our students have embodied social justice, embodied resiliency and embodied the belief that all people are created equal. I pledge as the Superintendent of the Montclair Public Schools to work with our students to make sure that equity is paramount in Montclair.” Some former recipients shared their inspiring success stories and Buzz Aldrin 7th grader David Faturoti participated in the Alpha Phi Alpha Oratorical Competition with his speech which focused on Dr. King’s perspective on the world today. If you didn't get a chance to watch the celebration, it is available on TV34's YouTube channel.

Around our schools, students participated in a variety of inspiring and educational virtual activities highlighting the life and legacy of Dr. King. While this year’s events may have looked different, the spirit was the same. Some of our PTA’s were able to still hold “Day On” service activities. See below for a glimpse of what took place throughout the district.

Bradford kicked off Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a school community Zoom call for students and parents, followed by a drive through and drop off in the Bradford front circle. "It was super successful," said PTA coordinator Campbell Minister. “We drove five cars full of donations to our designated sites, Toni’s Kitchen, human needs food pantry, Montclair animal shelter, SOFIA."

collecting donations  collecting donations

collecting donations  collecting donations

Charles H. Bullock
CHB third graders made history while learning history this week! Bullock students were the first in Montclair to take part in a “virtual field trip” to Montclair History Center’s Crane House. Zooming live from the hearth room, docents told and showed the students about the early beginning of our town, what daily life was like, some of the tools used to cook, as well as some of the history of slavery in Montclair. Students asked thoughtful questions and were invited to visit in person in the future.

The CHB PTA held a Virtual MLK Day On! celebration. This year's theme was "Being Anti-Racist" with a focus on learning how families can actively fight racism in our communities. Even though they were not able to meet in person, the school still wanted to celebrate Dr. King's legacy through education and acts of service. Students are virtually working on artwork that will be delivered to local Montclair seniors along with much needed toiletries.

Buzz Aldrin
Students were encouraged to participate in The MLK Virtual Youth Conference “Youth, We Hear You!” on Monday, January 18. Through panels, workshops, and networking, the virtual conference highlighted the life and legacy of Dr. King in these challenging times, through sessions on “Justice Matters,” “Health Equity Matters,” and “How to Live Your Ideals through Service and Public Policy.” 

Students are creating a quilt inspired by Faith Ringgold featuring how MLK has inspired them just as MLK was inspired by heroes such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks and many others. Edgemont’s Roots & Shoots club gathered at Edgemont Park to collecting canned goods, toiletries, socks, hats and gloves for Toni’s Kitchen and made "Peace Cranes” in his honor.

student holds paper crane  student writes about MLK
Second graders Theia Sargis, holding a crane and Phoenix Hayat, reflecting on what peace means to him.

student making paper crane  students making paper cranes

MLK service activity  MLK Day service activity

Last year, Glenfield dedicated the week prior to Martin Luther King’s birthday to participate in assemblies that encouraged students to use their voice to promote social justice, and participate in community service initiatives to provide support for Montclair’s homeless population. Unfortunately, the pandemic imposed extraordinary constraints on the community and as a result, the school decided to dedicate MLK Day as the beginning of an “MLK Week of Service,” and also extended its community service initiatives to the end of the school year. Families were provided with a list of Montclair community organizations that need volunteers of all ages including the Human Needs Food Pantry, the Montclair Animal Shelter, Toni’s Kitchen, MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) and the suggestion of making Valentine’s Day cards to brighten someone’s day.
 service activity service activity service activity
Glenfield and Hillside students participated in service activities organized by Glenfield 7th grader Maddie Bird.

cleaning up at Sandy Hook
Lucas (MHS, 11th grade) and Madeleine (Glenfield, 8th grade) tidied up at Sandy Hook in recognition of MLK Jr. Day of Service.

Hillside’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly was held virtually and shared with all teachers and students on Friday, January 15. This assembly is a student run program. Students created a slide presentation based on the timeline of events in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They conducted research, wrote and recorded their narration for each slide highlighting the life of and lessons learned by Dr. King.

Nishuane emphasized the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the importance of service to the community throughout class lessons and in morning announcements. Families had the opportunity to attend various community and virtual events. Students could create their own poster and submit photos of family service activities. To honor Dr. King, a school-wide "read-in" took place on Wednesday, Jan. 20. All classes listened to or watched a story in connection to Dr. King's bravery, commitment to justice, and compassion.

The PTA coordinated a video tribute to Dr. King that included staff and students reading parts of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” that was published for all NE families and staff. The PTA also collected drop-off donations for Toni’s Kitchen as this year’s Day of Service activity.

MLK day activities

Sixth grade students watched MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech then had two options: To choose a part of the "I Have a Dream" speech that resonated with them. They then recorded themselves reciting that part and explained why they chose that section of the speech and what it meant to them. Or, they could think about their own dreams regarding racial equality then recorded themselves or took a picture of a drawing of what their dreams are and how they connect to Dr. King’s dream. Once all the students submitted their videos, the 6th grade team made a compilation video to show staff and families. 

On Fri., Jan. 15, the 7th grade dedicated all morning classes to a celebration of MLK. This included a slide presentation with speeches and readings by the entire 7th grade staff including the words of Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Sojourner Truth, Dr. King and Langston Hughes, among others. At the end of the presentation, students returned to homerooms and worked on group projects in Jamboard, which they presented to their homerooms. 

In eighth grade, Language Arts students read an informational article on Dr. King and discussed Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In Social Studies there was a discussion on what Dr. King sacrificed in fighting for human rights for African Americans.

Students worked on thank you notes or letters to seniors to make them smile which will be collected and delivered. The school also began collecting them at collecting coats, clothing and food to be dropped off at various locations.
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