Milton Hershey School Students Engage in Activities Focused on Dr. King’s Life
After the all-school assembly on Monday, Jan. 16, Milton Hershey School students and staff engaged in themed activities in classrooms and student homes focused on honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. From meaningful conversations to individual and group activities and a panel discussion, the MHS community was hard at work learning about the impact Dr. King.
Elementary Division students read books about Dr. King’s life and the values he stood for, including justice, friendship, and community. Among other activities, students virtually explored historic sites related to the civil rights movement, watched educational videos, and responded to the prompt, “What is your dream?” allowing them to reflect on Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“If we don’t learn lessons from history and try to live them, then history is going to repeat itself,” shared Kendra Poff, MHS Elementary Division Teacher. “For me, this is why I think celebrating Dr. King in our classrooms every year is so important. My students and I talk about how grateful we are to Dr. King for fighting for equality. We talk about how MHS would not exist in the capacity it does today had the fight for equal rights not succeeded. Through these conversations every year, I encourage my students to think about how they change history by the way they’re living their lives.”
Several Middle Division students learned about early voting laws going as far as taking the first voting test to see firsthand how it was designed to disenfranchise African American voters in the United States. Many other students participated in meaningful conversations and writing assignments, connecting Dr. King’s work to other times in history.
MHS Senior Division students and teachers engaged in a variety of activities that included guest speakers at lunch, making their own Flip Grid videos about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and having personal conversations with peers about their experiences.
After school, a group of high schoolers participated in a screening of “Race to be Human,” followed by a panel discussion with local teens from across Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The event was organized by local Girls on the Run board members and sponsored by The Giant Company and Capital Blue Cross.
One MHS student, Jaelyn Lewis, sat on the panel to share her insights as a leader with the school’s Cultural Diversity Club.
To conclude the day, student homes took a virtual tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, colored photos that depict the life of Dr. King, and engaged in special social and emotional learning activities.