GREAT FALLS — In early celebration of Martin Luther King Junior Day, Lincoln Elementary School hosted "Read For Peace" events.
Twenty Montana AmeriCorps members volunteered their time to read to 275 students at various times throughout Friday. Students ranged from kindergarten ages through the fifth grade.
For volunteer Bri Howerton, the day was about helping students know who King was.
“Martin Luther King isn’t necessarily covered in curriculum. I know a lot of the teachers have been covering Martin Luther King but it just a way for us to make sure that the kid is learning about him and it’s also a way for us to get to know the community that we are in," said Howerton.
And each student loved something different about the activity.
Addelyn English, a fifth-grader at Lincoln Elementary School, said, “My favorite part was probably the book because I guess the book and the drawing was fun. Because you got to see what happened through his life and you also got to draw what the world would be like with peace."
Fifth-grader Joslyn said she learned what staying true to yourself means: “His house got blown up, but he still did what he thought was right.”
Howerton says it is important to keep teaching these lessons to remember lessons from the past, “Recognize the really bad parts of our history and to think about what is still happening that needs to change in our country.”
MLK Read for Peace is a collaborative event between the Montana Campus Compact and EmpowerMT.
Volunteers were a combination of members from AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State and National, National Civilian Community Corps, and the Great Falls LGBTQ Center.