Students Art Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy
By Erika Neale
For the GPHN
The elementary school marade in Park Hill has become an annual tradition. It is a wonderful way to teach, inspire, and continue the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to our youngest learners.
The tradition began in 2015 with a single kindergarten classroom singing “We Shall Overcome” on the footsteps of Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church at 1980 Dahlia St., where the civil rights leader spoke in 1964.
Since 2015, the marade has grown to include all four Park Hill elementary schools. Last year 600 kindergarten through 2nd grade students from Hallett, Stedman, Smith and Park Hill Elementary joined together in a collaboration and celebration of Dr. King. The students marched from Turtle Park at 23rd and Dahlia, to the church two blocks away on Montview.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic this year we were not able to do the traditional marade. However, I thought it would be beautiful for our students to still come together in spirit and create signs of peace and joy to be displayed throughout the neighborhood. The teachers and students of all four schools worked to make the art displays. The art was then displayed at the church, at Turtle Park, and at the four participating schools.
This event serves as a reminder that we must continue to work on Dr. King’s dream. As a community, we must come together to ensure that we work towards dismantling racism. There is still a lot of work to be done, but by educating children there is hope and light that “we shall live in peace someday.”
Erika Neale is a kindergarten teacher at Park Hill Elementary School, and organizer of the students’ marade. Click here for additional photos of the artwork and details about King’s visit to Park Hill in 1964.