District Celebrates MLK

District Celebrates MLK
Posted on 01/18/2024

The celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in Montclair on Mon., Jan. 15 with residents, Township Council and Board of Education members, Montclair Public Schools administrators and township activists who gathered at the 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at the George Inness Annex. 

Bradford held its MLK Day of Service in school on Fri., Jan. 12 in the gymnasium. The event was a collaboration with eight local charity organizations culminating in the creation of "community stations" where each student was able to actively participate. Community stations included: Letter Writing to Senior Homes/Veterans/Frontline Workers (Operation Gratitude, Art Mural honoring humanity and community, Assembling Encouragement Kits for Kids (S.O.F.I.A.), Assembling Healthy Lifestyle Kits (Community Food Bank), Assembling Toiletry Kits (YMCA-Geyer/S.O.F.I.A.), Origamis for Peace and Organizing and boxing donations. 
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It was a packed house on Monday at Bullock School for its annual MLK Day On celebration. The event featured community service stations around the gym including packing meals, painting kindness rocks and more. A group of fifth graders recited Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
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On Friday, January 12, Glenfield participated in a variety of activities designed to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of community service. In recognition of Glenfield’s historic designation of being the “community school,” fostering relationships with local charities and organizations are of paramount importance. In an effort to emphasize the themes of peace, kindness, service and literacy, houses worked with each other and across disciplines to participate in service-learning initiatives for every facet of the Glenfield community. Sixth grade students from House Blue and House Purple collaborated to craft a compelling visual exhibit in our main hallway centered around the themes of kindness and service. Guided by the powerful words of Martin Luther King Jr., they delved into narratives highlighting acts of kindness and service, including inspiring stories from our own Montclair community. Utilizing these stories and overarching themes, the students crafted vibrant handprints, symbolizing a community united in its commitment to service—each handprint representing individuals with "hearts full of grace" and "souls generated by love.” All seventh grade English Language Arts students participated in a book collection. Students were asked to bring in at least one novel from home that is school appropriate for younger readers to donate to local community and school organizations within the area to help with promoting literacy amongst young readers. Additionally, students are going to create personalized bookmarks that will feature positive words and illustrations, affirmations and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In partnership with Ms. Stebbins Community Service class, House Orange students participated in a sock drive for Montclair Emergency Shelter and Housing (MESH). The students made cards with pictures and words of encouragement and kindness. They packed them in bags with socks for homeless men, women and children. Over 200 pairs of socks were collected and will be donated to MESH next week. Doves are a universal symbol of love, hope, renewal and peace. Students of House Red crafted origami peace doves to celebrate the spirit of Dr. King's fight for equality while seeking peaceful alliances. The doves, created under the guidance of Origami expert Mr. Peng, will be displayed throughout the building as symbols of peace. 
MLK bulletin board

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Both schools held assemblies on Fri., Jan 12. On Monday, Nishuane hosted a special intergenerational program presented by Montclair Gateway to Aging in coordination with Nishuane and Hillside School Action Team for Partnerships (SATp) and with help from volunteers from Montclair State University. The event centered on the theme of “making a difference when it matters most.” The event began with a viewing of the Oscar winning short film The Children’s March and was followed by conversations with notable community members who recounted their memories of a time when they were impacted by the Civil Rights Movement Led by Dr. King. Students sang along to songs that were sung during peaceful protests of the past and were charged with being changemakers. In addition, both schools collected blessing bags as a community service project, which included travel-sized toiletries, hat and glove, hand sanitizer, ChapStick, band-aids and a peace note.
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Northeast’s event on Fri., Jan. 14 began with a silent march to the multi-purpose room while listening to the “I Have a Dream” speech playing over the intercom. A group of chamber singers led the singing of “Lift Every Voice,” then the 5th Grade recited an impactful portion of Dr. King’s speech to reinforce his message of togetherness and perseverance. After a Mindfulness activity the ceremony continued with Principal Joseph Putrino’s opening remarks which focused on the importance of shared experiences that we can learn from and our impact on each other. Each grade level contributed a performance. Kindergarten sang “There was a Man,” 1st grade performed “We Believe in the Dream,” which was authored by our very own Mrs. Gary. The 2nd grade recited “Life doesn’t frighten me at all” followed by the 3rd grade sharing an original piece “Hope, Peace, Love,” and the 4th grade recited Maya Angelou’s “I Still Rise.” This year’s event theme was “Perseverance in the Face of Adversity,” and highlighted notable figure Larry Doby, the second black major league baseball player (11 months after Jackie Robinson), first black player in the American League, first black player in a World Series and first black player to hit a homerun to win a World Series. He is also the father of Northeast Elementary School Secretary, Mrs. Susan Robinson! Mrs. Robinson treated students to an interview where she shared the most impactful qualities and messages from her father. Earlier in the week, Dr. Putrino met with each grade in the multi-purpose room to introduce them to the theme and Larry Doby. Along with a bulletin board we created together about knocking adversity out of the park, Putrino led Northeast students and staff in creating a school-wide painting. Every person in the school used a sponge brush to add to the artwork and sign their names. The finished product was concealed until the assembly where it was revealed for the first time.
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Families gathered at Watchung to donate and assemble food bags for Toni’s Kitchen, create art supply bags for the nonprofit Newark’s Centers of Hope, write “Thank You” letters for local firefighters and enjoy an MLK Book Sale and special guest book reading.
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