Lower and Intermediate School Students Honor MLK with Day of Service MX

This week, Lower and Intermediate School students honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a Morning Ex about service. The program started with an introduction from Head of the Lower School Kimeri Swanson-Beck and Head of the Intermediate and Middle Schools Vahn Phayprasert, who explained the meaning of service and the importance of using one’s voice for good and standing up for what is right.

Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Erika Prahl then read the book K is for Kindness by Rina Horiuchi, which uses the alphabet to show animals doing acts of kindness for one another. Students read along with Prahl and added additional context to each letter’s act of service, such as T for teamwork and showing appreciation for one another.

The 3rd grade took the stage to discuss what they learned about Chicago native and social reformer Jane Addams. They showed photos from their field trip to Hull-House Museum, a memorial to Addams’ work in social justice, immigrants’ rights, fair labor practices and public health and education.

They then discussed the Lower School’s upcoming service-learning project that will benefit the Erie Neighborhood House and Chicago Commons—two social service organizations that help both immigrant and low-income families in Chicago. They will be donating books to both organizations that will have QR codes added that will link to additional resources about the book for an enhanced learning experience.

The 4th grade talked about their service project upcycling t-shirts into reusable grocery bags for The Friendship Center, a local food pantry. The students made more than 75 bags that those who visit the pantry will use for groceries they receive there. The 5th grade also upcycled t-shirts, but, in their case, into dog toys for the Anti-Cruelty Society, a local animal shelter.

The program ended with a singalong of one of Dr. King’s favorite songs, “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield. Along with Music teacher Kingsley Tang, the 4th and 5th grade led the Lower School in song with hand motions to accompany the lyrics. 

Following in the footsteps of Dr. King, students are learning the power of performing acts of service for others in their journey to becoming active citizens in our democracy.

Click here for photos of the Morning Ex.
Click here for photos of some of the service work in action.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.