Youth Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King

Every Tuesday, kids come to Geneva Hayden’s after-school sessions at Beauchamp Library to get homework done, find a book to read or use a computer. But in preparation for Martin Luther King Day, Hayden planned an activity to teach kids about Dr. King and his message.

The literacy volunteer says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Every time you learn your culture, you grow stronger,” Hayden said. “How our ancestors struggled, how they became who they are.”

Literacy volunteer Geneva Hayden reads to a student at Beauchamp Library.

A gaggle of sixth- and seventh-graders busied themselves making paper doves and writing about what being a peacemaker meant to them.

“I would help stop violence in the world,” said Juan Ocasio, 12, busying himself with the neon green wings of his dove. “I want to be a police officer so I can help people, I would save people’s lives.”

For 12-year-old Aryanna Gartrell, Martin Luther King Day is a time to remember the Civil Rights Movement.

“It was a day that somebody tried to change the way the world was,” said Gartrell, whose favorite civil rights leader is Rosa Parks. She says the spirit of the movement hits home for her, because her parents are of different races.

“If more people didn’t disrespect other people, the world would be better,” she said.


A student shows a paper dove she made at Beauchamp Library.