Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King

To honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Breton Downs Elementary students held signs expressing “Freedom,” Peace and Love” during a silent march near their school in memory of the civil rights activist.

Following the walk, the kindergarten-fifth grade students gathered for an assembly on “Making a Difference, One Step at a Time,” looking at how other leaders stood up for justice and singing song of peace. Districtwide, through songs, poetry, readings, and videos East Grand Rapids Public Schools students honored King with marches, assemblies and sharing ways they are working to make a differerence. 

Students march in silence

Northview East Campus students take part in March

Some two dozen students from Northview’s East Campus High School joined the annual King Day March at Grand Rapids Community College. Three teachers accompanied the students on a noon march beginning at the Ford Fieldhouse.

Fourth-grade student Jake Castenholz holds a sign during the marchThe alternative school’s students were offered the option to participate and given a social studies assignment to tie into the experience, said Derek Schmidt, the school’s director of alternative education. About 25 of the school’s 125 daytime students chose to go, along with teachers Audrey Eckerly, Josh Clapp and Travis Nichol.

“It’s an opportunity for students who might not be able to do something like this,” said Schmidt, a former social studies teacher. “It’s the community (involvement) piece we do well at East Campus.”

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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