Guilford Child Development

Meaningful ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with your family

Photo credit: Unseen Histories

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 17. While schools and federal buildings will be closed for the holiday, communities across the nation are gearing up to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, a Baptist minister whose nonviolent approach to ending racial segregation helped shape the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Here are a few ways you and your family can join in the celebration.

Watch Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

Delivered on August 28, 1963 to more than 200,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is one of the most powerful and most memorable speeches in American history. Go back in time with notable civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and John Lewis, to watch the iconic speech here. Subtitles make it easy for young readers to follow along.

Make a Dream Poster

Let Dr. King’s message of love, peace and equality be the inspiration behind your family’s very own dream poster. Take a moment to discuss his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, then, using a few simple tools (poster board, crayons, colored paper and markers), create a poster that reflects your family’s vision for a better world. Tip: As you are writing, have your child finger trace the letters to encourage writing and letter recognition.

Attend a Virtual Event

Turn screen time into a learning opportunity by attending a virtual event like King Day for the Small but Mighty. Hosted by The National Civil Rights Museum at the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. this free celebration will inspire your children to continue Dr. King’s legacy as they learn about his life and lasting impact on society. King Day for the Small but Mighty begins at 10 a.m. CST on January 17. Click here to register.

Do Some Good in the Neighborhood

If you’re looking for a more hands on way to celebrate MLK Day, sign up for The Volunteer Center of the Triad’s 2022 MLK Jr. Day of Service.  This two-hour event happening January 23 at North Carolina A&T State University is filled with opportunities to give back, whether it’s packing first aid kits, donating canned goods or participating in a community art project. Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event is required for entry for all participants ages 2 and older. Register here.