MLK Day: No Classes But Many Opportunities to Learn, Engage

mlkMonday, January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There are no classes for students at Des Moines Public Schools on Monday, and teachers and associates do not report. DMPS offices will be open.

However, even though it is not a school day, it doesn’t mean some important lessons won’t be learned as many DMPS students will take part in a variety of events and activities to commemorate MLK Day and the work of the late civil rights leader.

MLK-related events involving DMPS include:

Friday, January 15

9:00 AM

MLK Peace Walk
Samuelson Elementary
3929 Bel Air Road
Students walk in silence around the hallway one time and then stop to join hands while we listen to the MLK I Have A Dream Speech.  After listening to part of the speech, students join together in singing We Shall Overcome.

2:25 PM

School-wide MLK events
Findley Elementary
3025 Oxford Ave.
Students participate in poetry, storytelling, a reader’s theater and other activities celebrating the life of Dr. King.

Monday, January 18

7:30 AM

Merrill Middle School principal Alex Hanna receives the Making a Difference Award
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast
Knapp Center – Drake University Campus
2601 Forest Ave.

10:00 AM

RunDSM March for Dr. King
Beginning at the Iowa State Capitol steps, ending at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
The gathering opens with a speech from local youth activist and North High School graduate Kaija Carter, and a group poem from the RunDSM Youth Advisory Board. Then, they will march through the East Village/downtown, popping in to specific places (Historical Building, Police Department, Science Center) and spitting poems. Their goal is to “peacefully disrupt and allow the youth to have their voices heard.”

10:00 AM – Noon

Community Youth Concepts Volunteer Event
1446 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway
DMPS Americorps members as well as students will be taking part in this volunteer activity; DMPS FoodCorps will be there making signs for this year’s school garden projects.

4:00 PM

Cowles Montessori student Ivy McFetridge receives 1st place art award
Forest Avenue Library Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
1326 Forest Ave.
Winners of the student art and writing contests will share their work with the audience.  There will be a reception immediately following the program hosted by the Friends of the Forest Avenue Library.