Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through Service

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through Service

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Woodward Academy’s Upper School invited students to answer Dr. King’s famous exhortation to help others by taking action over the three-day MLK Day holiday weekend. The Service Leadership Board offered up opportunities including:

Students also can sign up on the Upper School’s community engagement dashboard, Helper Helper, to participate in a variety of small projects from home, including writing letters of appreciation to first responders, dropping off blankets and supplies to a local shelter, crafting a door poster or decoration for a resident of the College Park Healthcare Center, or baking a batch of cookies for a neighbor or a friend. 

The Academy’s robust, ongoing Woodward Serves program connects all Upper School students to meaningful opportunities to help others. In a typical school year, Upper School students are required to perform 20 hours of service, but that has been reduced to 10 hours due to the pandemic. Woodward also offers a diploma distinction in Service Learning.

In the younger grades, teachers created many opportunities for experiential learning:

  • Seventh and eighth graders each completed puzzle pieces depicting service and caring for others for a Middle School-wide puzzle installation; French and Spanish students learned Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in those languages; and choral students learned civil rights hymns.

  • Lower School morning announcements included highlights from Dr. King’s life story, and counselors created a Bitmoji/Virtual Classroom here for teachers to use as a resource not only for MLK Day but for all issues regarding civil and human rights. 

  • Pre-K students at the Primary School learned about how Dr. King wanted all people to treat each other with respect and dignity and created books called “We Can Be Kind”; third graders discussed citizenship, taking action for our rights, and public virtue, and created art pieces; and students at every grade level engaged in age-appropriate reading about Dr. King’s life and work. 

  • At Woodward North, second graders completed a “Dream Town” project incorporating Dr. King’s life and contributions into a Social Studies unit on communities, maps, locations, and directions; third graders created a mini-book about Dr. King’s early life, character traits, and achievements. and the sixth grade is planning a Zoom movie night on Friday, January 22, to watch “Hidden Figures” and follow up with discussion during the morning meeting January 25.