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Observing the Life and Legacy of the Great Civil Rights Leader


“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”  


Martin Luther King Jr.


Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and schools will be closed in observance of the life and legacy of this great Civil Rights leader. He worked tirelessly to end segregation and battled for racial equality in the United States. This will be the 26th anniversary of this federal holiday, which is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January. 


On this day all Americans are encouraged to volunteer to improve their communities. Dr. King said, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” We are proud to serve our Warrior Community here in Southern York County. Our schools have been preparing for MLK Day and we are excited to share some of the plans our staff and students have been putting together. 


Our schools have material planned for all grade levels and we are excited to share a small sample of those plans. Shrewsbury Elementary’s kindergarten students will be reading stories about Dr. King, as well as working on poems, songs, and an art project. Second grade will be watching and discussing videos about his life and working on a collaborative patchwork puzzle of him to display in the hallway. Fifth graders are planning to do a reader’s theater and reading nonfiction texts to honor the day. Art classes are going to utilize Gee’s Bend quilts incorporating a quote about one of the quilters from the civil rights era. Southern Elementary students will be creating posters which will depict quotes from Dr. King, and studying segregation in the 60s. High school students will be covering Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement throughout history. 


While we are all familiar with Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, here are four interesting facts that are not as well known.


  1. His birth name was Michael, not Martin. His father traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. King Sr. then changed his own name and that of his 5-year-old son. 
  2. He entered college at the age of 15. As an extremely gifted student, he skipped grades 9 and 12 before enrolling at Morehouse College. 
  3. His ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial. In 1957, he delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. 
  4. President Ronald Regan signed a bill to honor King with a national holiday. It was first commemorated in 1986.

We hope you will all join us in remembering this great man and his legacy. We are honored to be part of the community and have the opportunity to work with so many incredible people for the continued benefit of Southern York County.