Thursday January 29, 2015
If you visited Chamberlin School on Friday, January 16, you would have seen these words plastered all over the walls of the school hallways. The quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last sermon, was the focus of an all day celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Sheryl Garner, president and founder of Envision Children, a non-profit organization with a mission to “engage students in real life learning,” partners with Monica Nygaard-Ostby, her lifelong friend and South Burlington parent, to bring a program to South Burlington students each year. This year, with support from the PTO, Chamberlin was fortunate to benefit from Garner’s vision of impacting students’ academic culture to make education a top priority, as well as using the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to “pass the torch” of hope, change, and service to the children. In grade-level appropriate workshops, Garner told the story of how Dr. King benefited from his teacher and family role models to cultivate his gift of speech to motivate others and stand up for what he believed in using peaceful, non-violent methods during the Civil Rights movement.
Students learned that greatness begins at an early age, and that they all have the ability to turn their greatness into acts of serving that can have a positive impact on others, in small and big ways. Fifth-grade leaders took student brainstorming ideas about what they are great atdoing, and turned them into “What If?” stories, highlighting the greatness that exists at Chamberlin School. The day finished with a celebration assembly of music, poetry, and readings by students. It was truly a day of inspiration, as the students and staff worked with Garner and Ostby to learn and embrace the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.