Schools recall life of Dr. King

FAIRMONT – Poems and posters, and thinking about their own dreams were some ways students at Fairmont Elementary and the Junior/Senior High spent reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Junior and senior high social studies classes concentrated on broader themes, while each class at Fairmont Elementary took time to complete a project about the civil rights leader.

“We watched a five-minute video on Martin Luther King, then we read his obit,” said social studies teacher Ashley Kaplan. “We are just finishing up a unit on reconstruction after the Civil War … I’ve told them history has a way of repeating itself, so we’re going from the Civil War to civil rights. They’re getting to see the bigger picture.”

Kaplan asked her students to write a poem about King and his legacy.

“We’ve had haikus, we’ve had free verse,” she said. “I wanted them to get creative, whatever they can relate. They’re all doing their own thing and they’re pretty creative.”

Meanwhile, at Fairmont Elementary, posters and collages about King were made and displayed. One fifth-grade class made silhouettes of themselves and based them on King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

“Many had ones about living in a mansion, or traveling,” said Geri Halbert, who was subbing in Adam Williamson’s class. “But there were a few that saw the bigger picture. One spoke about having a dream where people no longer used drugs, where people stopped killing each other, and [where] we can reach world peace.”

Kaplan noted that most of her students seem interested in the history of King.

“They’ve related to it because it ties in with the current unit,” she said. “They’re relating him to Abe Lincoln … The kids are pretty open to learning about people who are difference-makers; different role models that have changed society.”