Gregory holds first annual MLK Freedom March Reenactment
BY KRISTA HOLLAND
“M-L-K! M-L-K!’ rang out along 10th and Ann Streets on Thursday morning, January 17, 2013, when Gregory students and staff marched around the block in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. Students learned about Dr. King during their literacy block during the week leading up to the march. The students made connections to Dr. King’s work by writing about their personal dreams. They learned about nonviolence, social justice, and how the Civil Rights movement promoted solving conflicts peacefully. Some students wore medallions where they had written their sentiments about the life and work of Dr. King, while others created and carried banners and posters with messages of peace, hope and unity, representing Dr. King’s legacy.
Dorothy DeShields served as grand marshal for the event. Her participation was significant because she was Gregory’s principal at the time that it became NHCS’ first magnet school. She recently concluded two terms as a member of the NHCS Board of Education. The school banner was carried by two fifth grade student council members, Blake Gagnon and Ashari Maultsby. Other special guests were the NHHS marching band; they followed the processional, keeping a steady beat as Gregory students and staff marched around the block. Parents, Williston Middle students and staff, and neighbors surrounding the school came out to support and cheer the students on as they marched by.
The march concluded with everyone gathering at the front of the school chanting, “M-L-K! M-L-K!” and then singing “We Shall Overcome,” lead by fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sonya Oates. The purpose of focusing on Dr. King’s work and holding the march was to emphasize to students that it’s not just a day out of school; there is significance and meaning for celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.