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Lindbergh School District students study Martin Luther King's legacy

'I have a dream that one day there will be world peace, and terrorists will stop fighting and killing. I have a dream that all homeless people will have homes, all hungry people will have food and we will live in a world without war.' — Grace Boyne, Long Elementary School fourth-grader
More than 40 years after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream'' speech in Washington, D.C., the Lindbergh School District is keeping the dream alive by educating its students about King's legacy.

King was the most recognizable figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s that stamped out many of America's racist practices against blacks.

He dreamed that the promises written in the Constitution would ring true for all people, regardless of race, and gave his life in an effort to make it happen.

Asking students to consider their dreams for society is one of several ways the district is celebrating King's life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed on Monday, and Lindbergh students were out of school for it. But the district's teachers made sure students didn't forget the reason for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Mary Meyer, director of community relations for the Lindbergh School District, said the weeks surrounding the celebration of King's life are dedicated to his memory.

The school district's "Character Word of the Month" is "integrity,'' and many classes are using King as an example.

"The kids are all involved in different activities,'' Meyer told the Call. "Even in the younger classes, they are involved in discussions, reading and doing worksheets.

"There are displays in the halls, and the libraries are featuring books about him,'' she added.

Many of the district's students will enter a statewide poster contest featuring the theme "Finding Strength in Our Differences.''

Students from kindergarten through high school will enter the statewide contest, and the Missouri National Education Association Human Rights Committee and the Missouri Bar Association will select winners.

The posters are to include an essay that refers to the theme and King. The district's winners will be chosen Feb. 12. Statewide winners in each age group will receive a $100 savings bond. The posters that are not entered will be displayed at the schools.

King's message of peace and unity seems to be getting across to the students in the district as they are daring to dream of a better world. Some dreamed of a cleaner society, some dreamed of saving the rainforest or eliminating drugs. Some dreamed that people with handicaps and diseases would receive better treatment or cures.

"I have a dream that one day everyone would have a home and good food,'' said Teal Lynn Wilson, another Long Elementary fourth-grader.

"I have a dream that someday everybody will respect others,'' Long fourth-grader Alexis White said. "Everybody will help others and be good friends just like Martin Luther King Jr. You can make a difference in the world and you know it.''

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