MLK 1

Today, January 20, 2014, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here are some great ways for you and your children to celebrate the holiday, today and every day, which commemorates the struggles of our past and the greatness of all of those who took a stand in the name of equality, diversity, and social justice and progress in our country.

Read Books

Preschool

  1. The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore and Amy Wummer
  2. A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler and Robert Casilla

Elementary

  1. National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. (Readers Bios) by Kitson Jazynka
  2. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier
  3. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader and Nancy Harrison
  4. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr) by Jean Marzollo and J. Brian Pinkney

More Reading

Attend Local Events and Activities

Many of these events have already taken place but may inspire you or may be worth remembering for next year.

  1. Hands on Charlotte Day of Service – This event takes place on the Saturday prior to MLKj Day and is a very easy way to get involved in volunteering in the area.
  2. MLK Holiday Parade – Takes place Saturday morning in uptown Charlotte
  3. MLK Holiday Prayer Breakfast – Hosted by the YMCA on Sunday
  4. Levine Museum MLK Community Celebration – Free Admission Sunday and Monday

MLK 3

Volunteer

In addition to the Hands On Charlotte Call to Service Day, there are many ways for you to volunteer in our community. Volunteering helps to bring to life the abstract concepts of diversity, adversity, and generosity. See my post from December, with some other great ways to get involved in your community.

 

MLK 2

Talk about Diversity

People are different and difference is the spice of life. Help your children to learn about the ways in which we are racially and culturally diverse and how we can love and appreciate differences in our communities.

  1. You can create a multicultural meal or spend a week eating foods from different countries while learning about the cultures and traditions of those countries.
  2. You can talk to your kids about race. This great link helps give you some ideas about where to start. Here’s another great resource.

Learn about Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Help celebrate by teaching your children about the history of black people in the United States and the ways in African-Americans have helped shaped our country.

MLK 4

 

Talk to your children about adversity, perseverance, peaceful change, and dreams

Crafts, lessons and more resourcesListen to Dr. King’s speeches to help spur these conversations.

 

 

 

 

And don’t stop with just one long weekend. Coretta Scott King wrote in the Washington Post in 1983: “The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration . . . Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress.”