Students bring story of peace to honor MLK Jr.

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>Teacher Joe Doupe leads the fourth grade class in the singing of the song "One Tin Soldier" during a program to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last Friday.

LONG BEACH - Singing songs like "We Shall Overcome," and "One Tin Soldier," the fifth grade class at Long Beach School paid tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an assembly last Friday.

One of the highlights of the program was a short play put on by Kelly Jacobsen's 4th/5th grade class that told of Dr. King as a young boy growing up in the south. Fifth-grader Jose Louis Gonzalez-Sebastian played the young King in the play.

"It was kind of fun, I like my part," he said afterward. The student said that prior to taking the role he did not know much about Dr. King or his message, but he does now. "You should love your neighbors, even white or black, young or old, no matter what."

Principal Gary Flood said he was very impressed not only by the singing and acting, but by the message it was preaching.

"It was a pretty good little show. I particularly liked the first song, it sent goose bumps up and down my body," he said of the tune "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

"We can take it with us and make it a part of us. I thought it was an outstanding job."

Jacobsen said that the play was chosen because the kids can relate to the story better since King was depicted as when he was their age.

"My goal this year was to talk to the kids that all the people we know that are famous, like presidents and Martin Luther King, were all children at one point who have an idea and then they follow that dream," she said. "I wanted to instill that in them."

And while the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was an obvious song choice, the others weren't necessarily. Jacobsen said they were picked for their message.

"The theme is peace and changing the world, and both of those songs really talk about looking at what's going on in the world and what can you do to make the world a better place. They might not understand it now but you're always laying that foundation."

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