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Schools celebrate King’s courage to bring light

I Have a Dream


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everyone to experience a sense of belonging. During virtual assemblies, speakers shared inspirational messages that encouraged students at LMS and LHS to use their talents to bring in others.


students writing in a classroomJames Layman, from Association for Washington Student Leaders, challenged Lakewood Middle School students to be a light for others. He quoted from King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” He encouraged students to: Listen. Listen more. Listen stronger.


In a video from educator Erin Jones, students at Lakewood High School considered the life and legacy of King through the lens of love, courage and sacrifice. Jones said that King was an advocate, not just for racial equality, but also for poor people and for anyone who was on the margins of society. He received the Nobel Peace Prize because he chose to demonstrate with nonviolence and sacrifice for his country.


Two students fist-bumpASB President Jarron Ransford and other student leaders organized an “I Have a Dream” space on the library window for students to write their dreams for themselves and for their community.


Students also started “Project Smile” last week to foster a sense of belonging among students. They take turns giving fist bumps in the morning and between classes.


In her video, Jones encouraged students to think about the people on the margins of their communities. “Who is sleeping on couches? Who doesn’t have access to food? Who practices a different religion? Who doesn’t speak English?” She asked students to have the courage to call each other “into a better version of ourselves…. Make your community the best place it can be.”


Belonging through BridgingTeachers at Lakewood High School took time during their Friday early release on Jan. 14 to discuss belonging with Dr. Jennifer Wiley, founder of Developing Democracy Leadership and Organizational Development Consultants. Wiley spent time reviewing how the brain reacts to stress. “When people are not feeling belonging, they amygdala and can’t learn,” she said, referring to the part of the brain that regulates emotions. After the full-group discussion, teachers discussed in small groups with their departments what it takes to create a sense of belonging in their classrooms.