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Words from Dr. King, Art from Ava

“Last week I picked up my daughter Ava from school. Normally she immediately tells me about what activities she did with her classmates or about what she and her friends did during lunch, but on this day she asks me if I knew Dr. Martin Luther King. I told her I didn’t know him, but I’ve learned about him, and love his message. She beamed with excitement and started telling her brothers and I about Dr. King's message and stories. My son told her that he already learned about Dr. King that day, but wanted her to remind him about what he did, so during the ride home, she repeated some lines from the “I have a dream” speech. Her teacher had uploaded some speeches and videos to my daughter's Google classroom, so during her screen time at home when she normally watches Disney+ this day she put her earphones in and watched Dr. King's speech, drew this picture, and wrote out a quote from one of his speeches. This precious girl gives me and those who surround her hope for the future. She inspires us each day with her courage, kindness, and good heart. A quote from Dr. King that reminds me of my Ava, 'the time is always right to do what is right.'"

The excitement about Dr. King began when Ava’s third-grade teacher, Jennifer Gilbert at Riverview Elementary in Spanish Fork, read the book Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport, to her class. Ava was so impressed with the book that she continued her own learning about this powerful man by watching the material her teacher provided and other sources her parents gave her. This picture is what she drew at home.

In class, Ms. Gilbert had the students create an art project where each student wrote their own important words inspired by the book and then did a watercolor wash.

Now, it's your turn: how have you been impacted by Dr. Martin Luther King? Share a favorite arts lesson story, idea, or pivotal experience in the comments!

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