Easy Ways to Celebrate MLK Jr. Day

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The kids are off school on January 15 for Martin Luther King Jr Day, hooray! It’s always nice to have a long weekend, but hopefully, you’re able to take some time to talk to your kids about why this day is significant. It is also a great time to participate in a day of service in your community. 

There are many resources, books, shows, and events about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the role he played in the Civil Rights Movement. This is a great time to educate your kids (and yourself) about this topic. 

As parents, it can be hard to know how to start having these conversations, especially if your kids are little. But the sooner you start, the more normal it will be to talk about hard things. You don’t have to have all the answers or all the right words. Start a conversation and be ready to listen to your kid’s thoughts and questions. They will probably surprise you! 

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day

Watch this video, The Story of Martin Luther King Jr by Kid President. 

Watch the I Have a Dream speech and ask your kids what they think about it. 

Listen to a reading of the book Martin’s Big Words. Some other good books are: 

I Am Martin Luther King Jr. Ordinary People Change the World

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement

Take time to ask your kids if they have questions after reading. You might be surprised by their reactions! 

Local Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast 
Knapp Center, Drake University 2601 Forest Ave
January 15, 7:30 a.m. to 9
Join residents, business and government leaders, and representatives of community nonprofit organizations to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and promote his message of peace, justice, and opportunity for all. Hosted by YMCA of Greater Des Moines. 

West Des Moines MLK Day Celebration and Multicultural Reception
Where: MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex 6500 Grand Ave West Des Moines
When: January 15, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Don’t miss this chance to be a part of a community-driven celebration that invites all to stand united in creating a world where justice is upheld.

WDM MLK Day Service Opportunities with Meals from the Heartland
When: January 15, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Meals from the Heartland (357 Lincoln Street, WDM)
Package meals to give back. 

Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebration
When: January 16, 4 p.m.
Where: Hear from Ian Roberts, the new superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. 

What do you do to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day? 


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