Teaching Children the Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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This morning my 4-year-old was excited to have a day out of school. What was intriguing to me, is that he knew the reason why school is closed.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. My little guy was aware of this thanks to lessons shared by his teachers today. I was pleasantly surprised at his preschool grasp of why we honor Dr. King.

“Mommy, Dr. King wanted everyone to be able to go the same hospital, and get the same things.” Yes, a very simplified version of Dr. King’s message and history, but really that’s the essence of what he and many others fought to gain: Equality for all.

We’ve come a long way in only two generations since segregation was common in schools, restaurants, hospitals and other public places, but it’s still important to teach children about equality and fairness for all.

Two events happening uptown today celebrate Dr. King and his legacy. Head to the Levine Museum of the New South for the MLK Community Celebration, and on the other end of uptown there is a day of activites, including films, music and crafts at the Gantt Center’s MLK Day 2014 The Legacy is the Blueprint event.

Each offers opportunities for children to hear Dr. King, see the history of his time and learn about how dedication to a cause takes courage and stamina to get results. All messages kids can live by.

Whatever you choose to do today, take a minute to discuss the importance of equality in our country. It’s the leader’s of tomorrow – leaders from our children’s generations – to keep pushing equality and acceptance for all without discrimination.