South Orangetown Central School District

In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, students at Cottage Lane Elementary School engaged in a variety of school-wide, classroom and library activities to recognize the national holiday.

 Fifth graders in Bill McAuliffe and Melanie Nunes’s class took the time to reflect on the life and legacy of King on Friday. To start the lesson, McAuliffe asked students to turn and talk with their classmates to discuss what they already knew about King and Nunes wrote down key points that students shared. When celebrating King’s birthday each year, McAuliffe plays his class the song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2 which serves as a tribute to him. Students then followed along with read aloud books about the life and legacy of King and answered four different prompts that tied in his message and how it connects to their own life.

As part of a pop-up club in the library, students are currently looking at non-fiction reading and CLE librarian Kristine Wagner had students read a Scholastic article about 14-year-old Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of KIng. The article includes an interview with Yolanda and how she is continuing to spread his message of equality as well as stories of other children working to change the world around them. Wagner explained, “I want you all to realize that little people can do big things! Try and think about what your mission is as a 10-year-old Cottage Lane student and how you can help your community.” Wagoner has also started a “Library 40 Book Empathy Challenge” which features books about King along with books that aim to help kids see the world through the eyes of those who may be different from them including different family structures, cultures, physical abilities and religions.  

During the monthly Character Education assembly, students watched a video about KIng which featured excerpts of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Students were then asked to brainstorm with a partner about how they can change the world and ways they could volunteer to help other people.

Students in Bill McAullife's class reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. Day