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"Happy Birthday, Dr. King"

"Photo: South Whidbey Primary School second graders sang a rousing tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a school assembly Friday commemorating his birthday on Jan. 17. The youngsters learned sign language to accompany the song. Joan Soltys/staff photo He would have been proud. Although the man himself must seem a mythical figure to these young minds, the lessons Dr. Martin Luther King preached were not lost on the students at South Whidbey Primary School. And in a special assembly on Friday, the youngsters paid a creative and personal tribute to the fallen civil rights leader and his life’s work. There were poems about the man who “protested about ‘no white’ signs” and wanted “peace on earth, no violent protests, no slavery.” Some of the youngsters designed trophies granting Dr. King “First Place” awards for fairness and equality. Another class brought out murals that reflected what they had learned about the life of the famous civil rights leader. On one, showing Dr. King “marching,” the children had written: “Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘I have a dream.’ He dreamed of a world where everyone would be treated fairly. He often became tired and sad working for this dream. But he knew that what he was doing was important. We learn from the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a man who believed in peace and justice.” Mrs. Emry’s second grade told the story of Dr. King’s life in a series of presentations. And after listening to Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, Karyn LeWarne’s second graders told the audience what it meant to them: “that the world will have peace,” “that there are no bullies,” “that no one will cut in line,” “that no one would break a bone,” that everyone would be treated fairly,” “that everyone would have a friend.” Of course no school assembly is complete without music and song. Kindergartners performed, and the second grade class of Sue Sage sang, “He wanted peace and love all over this land,” a song by Linda Morris, with the audience encouraged to join in. Morris led a group with an impromptu and energetic version of “Happy Birthday, Dr. King” that brought several to their feet to dance. It was a happy day, and the kids left the primary school gym in a spirit of friendliness and good will. Dr. King’s message had been received."

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