Springfield students honoring the legacy of MLK on his assassination day

Hampden County

The vast Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy will include his lessons learned by thousands of  students from Springfield’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence.

“What I do is not to judge people by what I see, like Dr. King said, ‘judge someone by the content of their character’ so how they act with people,” Nasiya Yates, a fifth grader at the Springfield charter school told 22News.

Yates and her fellow students played a key role during Springfield’s salute honoring Martin Luther King Jr. during his birthday observance.

Yates displayed the passion and commitment to each word she spoke during that ceremony.

“On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered the I Have a Dream speech before 25,000 people,” Yates said.

Over 300 students attend the charter school. They’re selected by a lottery because so many parents insist on having their children learn vital lessons that will carry them through their youth and adulthood.

Lessons, fifth grade teacher April Robinson includes in her curriculum.

“Pay attention to the social issues that are going on, not just pay attention to it but also this is what we teach our kids, do the right thing, when it’s the right thing to do, lead by example,” Robinson told 22News.

“We also have that responsibility of teaching our youth leaders, what a beloved community is.
How we treat each other, fairly what we’ve incorporated of dr. king, honesty and respect,” Darryl Thomas, dean of students at the charter school told 22News.

Since the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence was founded 12-years-ago, Robinson has made a point of following her student’s progress, continuing to live by the lessons provided in the name of their mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Absolutely, I love it, they come here or they contact me.” Robinson told 22News. “I love seeing that, what you said, and some of the words that you teach them.”

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence is an outgrowth of a community agency that bears his name, the Martin Luther King Family Services in Springfield.

Longtime Executive Director Ronn Johnson told 22News both the school and family services have been inspired by Dr. King’s commitment to social justice.

And in Dr. King’s name, each year, the family services honors agencies and individuals who improve the community by furthering Dr. King’s legacy.

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