The time for all ages on January 15 recalled some of the inspirational words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. via the book, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier.
One of the quotes was, “When the history books are written, someone will say there lived black people who had the courage to stand up for their rights.”
After finishing the story, we welcomed Dr. M. Ali Chaudry to say a few words about the work he has done for the Stand Up For the Other Pledge.
Children continued to explore what it means to stand up for the other- just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others had done in their time- in ways that relate to their daily lives. During chapel we read the story, Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story About Bullying by Becky Ray McCain, illustrated by Todd Leonardo.
Unfortunately, even as early as Preschool, children are familiar with bullies, and sometimes standing up to a bully is how we stand up for the other. But one need not stand up for the other alone- children shared that telling a friend, parent, or teacher are helpful ways to stand up for the other when someone is being a bully.
As some children were writing or drawing the ways they can stand up for the other on the blank side of the pledge, others were helping Tom Davidson make “Stand Up for the Other” buttons that people could wear after they took the pledge. Children, youth, and adults started signing the large print pledge sheet during coffee hour, just as members of the NJ Senate and Assembly had done previously.
You are welcome to sign the pledge and pick up a button. You can also go to a website to sign the pledge as well.
The occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday is a great time to renew one’s commitment to stand up for the other and practice the principles of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person and offering fair and kind treatment to all.