“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘The Drum Major Instinct’ delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968

Our Annual Day of Service

It is with these words in mind that my rambunctious kindergarten students joined the pre-school students to embark on our second annual Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. This tradition was started many years ago by the pre-k teacher and after watching the youngest members of our school make a difference, we decided to jump on board.

Our service isn’t grand. Just as King suggests you don’t have to have a college degree to serve, we believe service can also be small and impactful. Last year we gathered together and made cards. Then we delivered boxes of tissues to every classroom in our school. This year we donated boxes of pencils to every room. These are small deeds but I believe that this kind of action teachers students what it means to be a citizen.

Black History Month

This month we honor those who have been great in many ways. Black History Month is a time to reflect, celebrate, learn about, and remember legends and legacies throughout history. Take time to learn about someone new, read books that highlight the small moments, shout out the members of your community who make a difference every day.

Students work together to create cards for our annual Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not sure where to start?

Ask a librarian! Check out the lastest Youth Media Award winning books – there is a lot of diversity this year.  Ask your students! Once I asked my students what they were interested in and they told me they wanted to learn about African American scientists. We all learned so much and even had a guest speaker from MIT visit our room. Whatever it is, show your students that by learning about the history of others, we can follow their footsteps to be great in big and small ways.

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Megan Howe

Megan Howe

Teacher and Children's Book Aficionado

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.