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King for a Day: Students Celebrate Life of Civil Rights Leader

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Celebrating the life and accomplishments of civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr., James H. Boyd Intermediate School held a special MLK assembly on Jan. 15 in the school auditorium, full of stirring speeches and song.

Boyd Student Council President Ava Mule and Vice President Sean O’Grady presided over a multifaceted ceremony, beginning with the playing of U2’s tribute “MLK,” a King video biography, and student recitations of a poem and excerpts from his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The entire student body joined in song for “Martin Luther King,” followed by a moving performance of “We Shall Overcome” by the school’s select chorus.

Serving as guest speaker was Huntington Town Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, who attended school in the district. She was introduced by her grandson, Boyd fourth-grader Troy.

“Because of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the things he did, it doesn’t matter what color you are,” Edwards told the children. “You can be whatever you want, here in America. All you have to do is three things: Work hard, be kind to everyone and have good character.”

Edwards gifted each student with a notebook and urged them, “Write down all your dreams and things you’d like to do to make your community a better place.” She also gave each child a blank business card, telling them to write in their own name and what they want to be when they grow up, then to work hard to become that person.

Before a final performance of the inclusive poem “I Am Boyd” by students and staff, Boyd’s principal, Dr. Denise Toscano, offered final remarks, saying, “Internalize the lessons you learned today, and maybe someday you can be a Martin Luther King, Jr. and stand up for people, because love is the strongest power.”