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Each year, the Southern Dutchess Coalition and the Beacon Sloop Club celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a parade, program and essay contest. The parade and program were not held this year because of pandemic concerns, but the groups invited students to respond to the question: “Are we keeping the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive?”
Here are excerpts from the six winning essays, which were selected by a committee of Sloop Club members. Each student received a $50 prize donated by Rhinebeck Bank.
“MLK was all about God and love. Color is not important. Love is important. I think Martin Luther King would want me to show love. Right now, everyone is not treated equally. I still see a lot of bad things happening in this world. I know God can ﬁx it — and he wants to. Until then, I will do my part and be kind to everyone by showing love and respect so we can live in a more peaceful world.”
Nicholas Ferris Jr. | Grade 2, JV Forrestal Elementary
“Martin Luther King tried to make the world a better place, but that’s a lot of work. Martin had six principles based on nonviolence and love which guided his life. This man believed that love could conquer all. I can use his principles to become a better person. I can try to make my school a better place by joining the Student Council. I can make posters for food drives. We can raise money for good causes and to get new playground equipment.”
Landon Soltish | Grade 5, Glenham Elementary
“It doesn’t matter how tall, how small, the color of our skin or hair, diseases or not, we should all be treated equally. Just like Martin Luther King Jr., I will use this in my life by never being mean to anyone.”
Andrew Caporale | Grade 5, Glenham Elementary
“I believe that all people should be treated equally because no one has the right to act more superior than the other because they think of themselves as different. In my book, no matter the similarities or differences, I try to include everyone. I keep Dr. King’s dream alive by treating everyone the way I want to be treated. The Golden Rule!”
Manasvi Gupta | Grade 5, Glenham Elementary
“I do not think people today are keeping Dr. King’s dream alive. People are still dying. There are still riots and protests for equal rights. I plan to help. I talk to everyone. I play with everyone. I don’t treat anyone different. I’m kind to everyone. I try to live by Martin Luther King’s dream.”
Zaire West | Grade 5, Glenham Elementary
“It is our job to be good citizens. Dr. King believed that we should treat people the way that we want to be treated. I try to do this in how I treat my teachers, classmates, friends and teammates. This is how I am keeping Dr. King’s dream alive. It is my dream that by the time I have a family of my own that discrimination will be a thing of the past.”
Weston Hetrick | Grade 5, Glenham Elementary