This Monday January 21 is celebrated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday. As children will be home from school, I encourage parents to spend time teaching their children about this icon of the civil rights movement.
To assist you, I have searched the internet and can say that there is an abundance of information about him, but I would like to focus on what is available specifically for children. At the end of this blog is a list of websites where you can find a plethora of information, including books. PBS.org has a list of 17 excellent children books about him and others involved in the movement, such as Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges, a 6 year-old heroine who was the first to integrate a New Orleans school back in 1960. Spend some time with your children going to a book store to purchase a book or to the public library. Once your child has a book, sit down and talk with him about it. Ask questions. This period of time is of such importance in our history. You may even learn something new!
The Today Show just posted on its website an article about helping children to learn about King. Depending on your children’s age groups, there are suggestions as to different types of discussions regarding the various people and issues of the time. Several short videos are also provided on the webpage that share more interesting facts.
Additional recommendations can be found at the website care.com in an informative article about King. Consider having your children participate in an art project or volunteer activity all about King and the movement.
Writer Erin Dower provides principles to talk about with your children in the online article 8 MLK Jr. Values to Instill in Your Kids. I like this article because it gives simple yet profound values taken from King’s life and discusses how children can incorporate these values into their own lives.
There is so much information available about King and the civil rights movement. Please enjoy a relaxing day off on Monday, but also include time to help your children learn more about him and the immense reforms that came about because of his leadership and dedication.