Opinion: Martin Luther King Jr.'s influence at Alma Del Mar

Jan 21, 2023

To the editor:

As January 16. approached, Alma Del Mar Charter School prepared for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service alongside local AmeriCorps members. As a national day of service, our purpose was to serve the community by informing and sharing Dr. King’s legacy and contributions. 

In this case, our community was made up of elementary and middle school students. Those who have worked with younger kids may know that children introduce new, creative perspectives to conversations everyday and on this particular Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I learned so much about his influence through the eyes of a child. One of our engaging workshops involved talking about what community meant to us and how Dr. King’s work left an impact in today’s community. 

It was through this conversation that we landed on the topic of kindness, and we discovered the simplicity of Dr. King’s philosophy, “They are so many thing to be kind. Like if someone falls you can help them up. Also if someone has no one to play with you can play with them…” (Eva, 8 yrs old) “My mom is in my community and community is important because it makes us stronger.” (Christian, 8 yrs old) Kindness is a pillar of human character, which builds community and creates a better world for everyone. 

My call to action through this letter is for all of us to honor Dr. King and his impact by committing ourselves to the following: never discriminate or dislike someone based on the color of their skin; learn to love your neighbors; carry out an act of kindness for someone every day; and give back to those around you and beyond when you can.

Amanda Harlfinger,

Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, UMass Dartmouth