At the Table with Dr. King provides students interactive lesson about civil rights
HIGHLANDS RANCH - Chatting with friends and casually finding a seat in the commons area at Ranch View Middle School, students may have thought they were about to sit in a long history lecture. However, it wasn’t long before they were swaying, clapping, cheering and up on their feet, chanting and singing along with a live, interactive show that focuses on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At the Table with Dr. King is part stage performance, part multimedia presentation using quotes from Dr. King, and overall a historical and cultural event that puts the civil rights movement into context for today— meant to inspire and challenge students to contribute to their communities and treat others with appreciation and respect.
“It was something different than the usual assembly, I liked it, it was a lot of fun,” said student Brooklyn Netushchil.
Another student, Ellie Bronson, added, “I liked that it used a lot of music rather than talking the whole time. It’s a more energetic and interactive way to learn.”
At one point, all of the students were on their feet, marching in a circle, paying homage to those who demonstrated during the civil rights movement.
“The march on Washington isn’t something that just happened 70 years ago,” said student Rachel Davy. “Just because it happened 70 years ago doesn’t mean it has to stay in the past. You should remember and learn from it.”
Ranch View principal, Tanner Fitch, said, “I really enjoy that part of the presentation where students get to get up out of their seats and pretend march, because they very rarely have been exposed to the concept of needing to demonstrate or advocate for something they believe in so passionately, so this presentation does a nice job of giving them that ability by actually giving them a sign to hold and walk around with, the same way they did in the fifties and sixties to advocate for this movement for civil rights.”
He added, “The biggest hope for us and our community, and the takeaway for our kids is the concept of appreciating others, truly understanding diversity and understanding people that have different colors of skin. But not only that— diversity can look so many different ways. And just a chance to expose our kids to culture and the idea behind what Dr. King advocated for, because it was so long ago, so long before they were born, to help them understand the purpose of valuing what you have and the value of others.”