Quinn students come together for peace

Jan 12, 2018

For Quinn Elementary School students, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was more than another day off, as students spent the week before the holiday learning all they can about the civil rights icon.

Throughout the week, classroom lessons incorporated the history of King and the civil rights movement. Before leaving for the long weekend, students gathered at a school-wide Peacemakers assembly on January 12 to share what they have learned.

During the assembly, students in the second grade presented posters each classroom created to spell out the word “peace” and a peace symbol. Before the big day, each student wrote a word or phrase that resonates with King’s teachings to recite to their classmates.

“Problem-solve and participate,” read one second-grade student. On another poster board, the phrases “be positive” and “protect others” could be seen emblazoned in marker.

“I think it’s amazing how one person can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Liliana Pajak after the assembly.

Others were impressed with the change King brought in civil rights, noting how their lives and the lives of their fellow students could have been different without his work.

“Without him our school wouldn’t be how it is today,” said Juliet Pulkowski. “He helped black students be free,” she said, noting that many of her classmates are African American.

Fourth grade students studied speeches by King, including his most famous one, “I Have Dream,” which students recited at the assembly.

“I learned he had a dream to make peace in the world so people are kind to one another,” shared Lia Cojocaru.

At the end of the assembly, Quinn administrators challenged students to work to bring King’s attitude and vision to their own school: a “Kindness Challenge.”

Starting next week, students will have more opportunities to spread kindness throughout the school, and teachers will be on the lookout for instances of kindness, to compete for rewards.