MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Students at the Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck learned about the power of Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision Monday while helping others in their community.
The day started with guest speakers, including Mayor Norman Rosenblum, Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro, and the heads of the fire department, police department and EMS. They each spoke about their role in the community, and how helping others is tied into the themes of King's dream.
After the speakers, classes took part in themed activities, and also participated in community service projects by sorting clothes and food donations for the Mamaroneck Food Pantry, the UJA-Federation of New York and Kid's Kloset in White Plains.
The kids also baked 400 cookies for the police and firefighters, and worked on creating a mural for the Spring Brook Manor Nursing Home in Scarsdale.
Rabbi Stephen Knapp said that King's messages are very much in line with the beliefs and goals of the school. "We believe in helping and giving to others. It's what we're all about here."
"It's fun to help out in the community," said Naomi Cohen, a seventh-grader from White Plains.
She said the most important thing that she learned was about how King's life had an impact on many areas of society, including allowing more athletes to play sports.
Mickey Nyer, special projects coordinator for the school, said that the goal was to involve kids in service, and to also tie in an educational component. The school wanted to teach the students about the importance of community, giving back and helping each other.
Talia Halaas, a student in Atara Bienenfeld's fifth-grade class, said that in her class they spent the day watching a video that taught about not making fun of other people for being different. They also read "The Sneetches" by Dr. Seuss, which deals with the danger of discrimination.
"It shows that we're not different just becaues of skin color or eye color or hair color," Halaas said.