By Alice Roche Cody
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Lower School students presented poems, recited songs, and shared words of inspiration at Wednesday's virtual Town Meeting.
Fourth grade teacher Julie Jurken opened the festivities by teaching students sign language for three messages that Dr. King shared during his life: love, service, and hope. "Dr. King valued love for everybody, so let's cross our arms over our hearts and hug ourselves tight and send love to our friends," she said, demonstrating the sign for love. "He taught the Golden Rule, to treat others the way you want to be treated. Dr. King did difficult work and never gave up. He continued to spread love and his message of service. No matter what happened, he passed along his message of hope."
Next, Tracey Goodson Barrett read the picture book, "One Today," the poem written by Richard Blanco for President Barack Obama's inauguration. Again, the theme of hope resonated for the GSB community with the line, "Hope is a new constellation waiting for us to map it, waiting for us to name it, together."
Preschool displayed their pictures showing a single crayon on one side, and on the reverse, an entire box of colorful crayons. Together, they said, "I'm okay on my own, but together we make the most beautiful picture!" PreK joined in the celebration by holding up their handprints and reciting Ben Harper's song with the moving lyrics, "I can make peace on earth with my own two hands." Then the Kindergarteners displayed their artwork and recited a poem about treating each other kindly. Next, first graders shared their dreams for the world, such as treat nature better, stop hurting animals, and find a cure for all viruses.
Through an inspirational video, the second grade showed the range of color in eggshells and delivered the message: "We noticed shells can be many shades, beautiful and unique. When cracked open, they all look the same. We can learn from eggs. Skin color doesn't matter; we're all the same inside."
When third graders appeared, they talked about how to make their dreams come true. Many awesome answers abounded. Be the best version of yourself! Believe in your dream and believe in yourself! Fight all obstacles in the way to make your dream come true! Help animals, and never give up! Read lots of books, like Harry Potter – I will achieve this by reading 30 minutes a day!
Fourth graders closed out the festivities by sharing quotes from Dr. King and explaining their meaning. To Maeve Ginty '29 and Sydney Armstrong '29, the famous line, "The time is always right to do what's right," meant, "No matter what, always be courageous and do what's right."