Most Special Piece of Mail Ever…With Love, From the King Family

By far one of the most special things I’ve ever received in the mail and one (of the many) times I have been incredibly proud of my students.

Back in 2006, just days after finishing the book I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King in class during our “Read Aloud” time, I learned that Coretta Scott King had died.  I shared the news with my students and, because we had just spent two weeks learning about Martin Luther King’s life, and family, and work…and probably in part because they knew of the many struggles, fights, tribulations, and ultimate tragedy that marked her life and the life of MLK and their children…they were very, very sad.

They immediately suggested that we write sympathy cards to her children.  They worked hard, spoke from their hearts, and shared their emotions and their admiration for the commitment and sacrifices that the King family made to try to make life better for others.

I found the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia and mailed the letters there…not knowing what would become of them. I watched parts of her funeral…where four presidents, more than a dozen senators, and Maya Angelou, amongst many others paid tribute…and felt sad.

Imagine my surprise, when four months later, an envelope arrived at school from “The King Family.”  While I know that what we received is the very same printed letter that hundreds, if not thousands of other people received, it still made me so incredibly proud of my students.  In some little way, their thoughts and words and love, had reached Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice….those same young children (now grown) that they had read about in the book about MLK.  The same young children who watched their father inspire, and rally, and protect, and defend, and love, and sacrifice for others, had made certain to say “thank you” to my little group of twenty elementary students.

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