MLK Day, honors and celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement. This day brings awareness and encourages all to reflect on the ongoing struggle for civil rights, equality, and justice, as well as give back through community service.
MLK Day which lands on January 15 this year is a perfect time to reflect on the legacy of one of our country’s most notable freedom fighters and spend time giving back to your community in a way that is meaningful for you. We are excited to share some ways that you can observe MLK Day with your little learners!
Join the Annual Community March, hosted by the Austin Area Heritage Council
The community of Austin will have its annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy on January 27. Austin MLK will have a festival and food drive in partnership with the Central Texas Food Bank to celebrate the diverse and multicultural community of Central Texas.
Celebrate at Thinkery on January 15
In honor of MLK Day, Thinkery has created special maker activities to celebrate civil rights leaders and reflect on what we can do to change the ongoing civil rights and justice struggles. Check out the following maker activities at Thinkery available exclusively for MLK Day, January 15, 2024!
- Self-portrait activity: Express yourself through collage and create a depiction of how you see yourself.
- Build the change activity: What is a fairness you see in your community? Using Legos and your creativity, what can you build to change this?
- “I have a Dream” Magnetic poetry: Martin had dream, what is your dream? Through the use of magnetic words put together a poem that expresses your dreams.
Explore MLK’s legacy and the history of the Civil Rights Movement through books
Reading a book with your young learner can be a great way for you both to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movements and leaders. Check out the following books at Thinkery’s reading nook located outside our Light Lab gallery, check them out at your local library, or buy them from Black Pearl Bookstore, a local black-woman-owned independent bookstore.
- I am Brave: A Little Book about Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
- We March by Shane W. Evans
- My First Heroes: Black History by Editors of Silver Dolphin Books
- The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Listen to MLK Jr. Speeches or even Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday
Listening to some of MLK’s speeches can be a great way to introduce older learners to his work. Here are a few to explore:
- “I Have a Dream,” delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963
- “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” delivered on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, TN the day before he was assassinated
Did you know that this beloved song was written as part of the campaign to make MLK Jr. Day a national holiday?