Montclair Schools Celebrate Dr. King

Montclair Schools Celebrate Dr. King
Posted on 01/17/2023

The celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in Montclair on Mon., Jan. 16 with residents, Township Council and Board of Education members, Montclair Public Schools administrators and township activists who gathered at the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at the George Inness Annex. The keynote speaker was Glenfield Social Studies teacher Dan Gill.


MLK read-in  MLK bulletin board MLK bulletin board
During the week leading up to MLK Day, Nishuane held a Read-In and students did projects that were displayed on the bulletin boards in the hallways. 

MLK assembly MLK assembly
MLK assembly MLK assembly dance performance
On Friday, January 13, Hillside and Nishuane held MLK assemblies. Hillside’s assembly (pictured above) featured the Hillside Chorus singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” reciting of poems, spoken word and readers theater and a performance by the Hillside Dance Company to “Feeling Good.”

MLK assembly MLK assembly
MLK assembly MLK assembly
Nishuane's assembly focused on MLK's message of kindness. Some students sang "Give a Little Kindness," and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," and others recited "The Words of Dr. King."

blessing bags collection MLK day sign
blessing bags box students fill bags 
family drops off donation students pack donation bags students pack donation bags

In addition, the Hillside and Nishuane SATps collected nearly 850 blessing bags for local community organizations during the week leading up to MLK Day. Families from both schools assembled bags with items such as toiletries, protein bars, hats, socks, gloves and other items. Each bag also included a handwritten Peace Note with a positive message for its recipient.

On Monday, student volunteers from Hillside, Glenfield and Montclair High School were stationed at the Hillside cafeteria for several hours to receive additional bags being dropped off by families. The volunteers also assembled blessing bags, wrote Peace Notes and filled dozens of boxes with the bags. The donations were distributed to Real House, Inc. and Isaiah House. The annual event was coordinated by Hillside School 4th grade teacher Samira Harris, with the help of Hillside parent Christina Joseph Robinson and Nishuane parent Kendra Johnson. held a Blessing Bag Drive for the community Families donated bags containing a variety of travel-sized toiletries, snacks, socks, and more for those in need. 

"Day On"
For the first time in three years since COVID, many of the Montclair schools returned to the tradition of a "Day On" of service on the holiday.
donation bags MLK service
MLK assembly MLK activity
MLK activity MLK activity
Board member and parent Monk Inyang served as Master of Ceremonies for Bullock’s fun and educational activities that included students reciting the “I Have a Dream” speech and preparing meals for Montclair seniors.

student at MLK day students do craft on MLK day students do craft for MLK day
students perform on MLK Day students make peace cranes students make peace cranes
It was a full house at Bradford where students spent time writing letters to seniors in local nursing homes, creating an art mural that honors Dr. King, assembling Hygiene Kits and making Peace Cranes. Attendees were also treated to a performance by the Bradford Singers who performed “Lift Every Voice,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Kusimama” (Swahili for Standing Tall.)

MLK designed tshirt students making bags students stuffing bags
books for MLK Day students coloring tshirts students writing letters to firefighters
Families came to Watchung to donate and assemble Food Bags for Toni’s Kitchen, write “Thank You” letters for local firefighters, enjoy an MLK Book Sale and Special Guest book reading and create art supply bags for Ivy Hill Vailsburg Center for Arts, Culture and Community Activism. Special guest Dr. Marcia Heard, founder of the organization, sewed the bags and talked about her passion for helping others.

community MLK gathering MLK Day community event MLK Day community event
students work on MLK Day activity students work on MLK Day activity students work on MLK Day activity
In partnership with Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place, Edgemont held a multigenerational event that was open to the public. Speakers included members of the community who attended Montclair High School at the time Dr. King spoke at Montclair High School. They shared their personal memories of the day as well as what it was like living in America at the time of racial injustice. Students then had the opportunity to reflect on what they learned and express themselves through words and art.

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