The nation's day to honor Doctor Martin Luther King Junior ended Monday, but his message of unity and equality is strived for each and every day.
While city and county offices closed in remembrance of Dr. King, several of our area schools held classes. They had to make up days since the state did not allow schools to start class before August 27th. So, many teachers used the in-class holiday to reinforce King's message.
The lessons didn't end with the school bell, though. The Boys and Girls Club made Monday a day on, not a day off. Club members marked the holiday with several community service activities, also reflecting doctor King's teachings.
"We wanted to honor Doctor King for all that he did in our culture and our society to promote racial harmony and unity," Doctor Robert McKenzie said.
Inspirational speeches at the Theodore Phea Boys and Girls Club rounded a day of activities aimed at working together.
"The presentation here was for the young people," Lubbock City Councilman Floyd Price said.
For many students, the lessons started at school.
"It's so important that the kids realize that they live good lives today because of people like Martin Luther King Junior, so I just think it's a great opportunity to take this day and learn," Lubbock-Cooper Middle School Teacher Meg Kattwinkel said.
Students in the Lubbock ISD spent the holiday in class, for the first time in eight years.
"He wanted to give equal rights to everyone," Lubbock-Cooper Middle School Student Hunter Lightner said.
"He helped black and white people do the same things," Lubbock-Cooper South Elementary Student Brynlee Hill said.
"Sometimes the best way to celebrate that is just to be here on the day," Lubbock-Cooper South Elementary Teacher Barbara James said.
Some continued learning after class and pledged to keep the message going once the holiday ended.
"We were just trying to motivate the young people to keep that legacy alive by staying in school and being positive instead of being negative," Price said.
While students learned a lot, Lubbock-Cooper, Frenship, and Lubbock ISD say they plan to take the Martin Luther King holiday off next year.
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