Parents, students, and community leaders gathered at the South Orange Middle School, Monday, to celebrate the Third Annual MLK Day event hosted by the SOMSD Elementary School PTAs.
The morning began with kids reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy through various craft projects in which they were asked to create “Freedom Hand” cutouts and their own “Nobel Peace Prize” medallions.
The event was a community effort as the Rev. Sandye Wilson, pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in South Orange, emceed the event; local trumpet soloist Bruno Lee and the Columbia High School Chamber Choir serenaded the audience in musical selections; and a Maplewood dance troop, Inspirational Dance Company, performed an interpretive dance which incorporated Dr. King’s speeches.
Olivia Brash, a fifth grade student from Tuscan, shared a moving essay on being the change you want to become based on her grandmother’s civil rights teachings.
Coincidentally, Rev. Wilson recounted her life changing experience as a fifth grader in 1963 when she accompanied her father to the March on Washington.
The program also featured an inspiring lecture from author and activist Jamal Joseph and interactive skit by Greg Kenney, both of whom reminded the audience how important it is to dream and have a vision in order to truly honor Dr. King’s legacy.
The event closed as the Columbia High School Chamber Choir led everyone in song with the Black national anthem written by James Weldon Johnson, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Clinton Elementary PTA and MLK Day event committee member