Dutch Broadway Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students at Dutch Broadway School in Elmont celebrated the life and legacy
of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during an interactive musical assembly on Jan. 14.
Led by Assistant Principal Shawnée Warfield, the “Make a Change” assembly
included historical facts about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, in addition to musical performances and the recitation of poems. During her opening remarks, Warfield encouraged students to ask questions of their family members who were alive during the Civil Rights Movement. She also explained that without Dr. King’s actions and his dream to have a colorblind society, students would not be sitting in the same school all together.
Throughout the event, students were asked questions to reinforce their
knowledge and awareness of historical figures, including Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Freedom Riders and the Little Rock Nine. They also listened to Dr. King’s “I have a Dream Speech” and took part in singing the Civil Rights National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Sixth-graders Claudia Jones and Synia Livingston recited a poem followed by fifth-grader Amir Smith. Those in attendance all joined together to sing “We are the World,” as third-grade students signed the lyrics. Art club participants also took part, showing off banners adorned withpeaceful messages and a world globe they had created.
Warfield encouraged students to use their time off on Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day to make a difference in the world. She also spoke about Dr. King, Jr.’s Long Island connection using a photo of the Civil Rights leader at Hofstra University in 1965, which was shared by technology assistant Mary Jane Havrylkoff on an overhead projector.
“That visit was made possible in part by Mr. Aksionoff’s father-in-law,
Bernard Fixler and his lawyer Henry Wachtel,” stated Warfield, as she pointed out Mr. Fixler in the photo with Dr. King.
The grand finale consisted of a rousing solo performance of “Man in The
Mirror” sung by sixth-grade student Jamar Milford St. Cyr, under the direction of
Warfield. This soul-stirring performance prompted students, staff and parents to stand to their feet and join in. Warfield asked, “If you’re a parent and you believe that you too can “make that change,” then I invite you to come forward and sing.”
Many parents came to the front and sang, as the art club once again paraded
with their self-created banners, mirror, flowing ribbons and world globe to
reinforce the message of equality, social justice and change. This was truly an
interactive celebration of Dr. King, Jr. and his legacy.