MAKE A DIFFERENCE
MLK Read for Peace
MLK Read for Peace is a statewide service project that places college students, community volunteers, and AmeriCorps national service members in kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms to read age-appropriate books to students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After listening to a book read aloud, students then complete an activity that asks them to reflect on how they can promote peace and equality in their own lives.
“I Have a Dream” Drawings
A free-form art activity where students will draw their dream for a better world. The activity will begin with a short introduction to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, informing students that MLK dreamed of a better world where all people got along and were treated as equals.
A structured writing activity where students will write a poem about what peace means to them. They will be given a poem worksheet to use where they insert their own words to finish phrases such as “Peace is like a _________.” Students may also choose to write a free-form poem if they wish.
Why take the time?
The impact of Dr. King’s work and life on American history is often not a required part of elementary school curricula. Although many schools enjoy a long weekend in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day every January, some students may not understand the significance of this day.
What We Do
MLK Read for Peace provides students with information about Dr. King and simple activities they can complete in class or at home over the weekend.
In 2019, 12 Montana communities participated in Read for Peace and we engaged over 4,200 students statewide!
Coordinating an MLK Read for Peace event in your community
It is best to begin coordinating an MLK Read for Peace project as early as possible. Use the following information as a guide for beginning different stages of the planning process.
Plan Your Own Read For Peace Event
Use this guidance to plan and prepare your own Read for Peace event. Then consider using the pre- and post-visit curricula below to continue the conversation.
Press Release Tips
Let the media know about your event! You can send a press release a couple weeks before you plan to host your MLK Read for Peace event. Here are some things to keep in mind and include in your release:
Keep it short and concise. Press releases should fit on one page and have short paragraphs.
Don’t send it too soon. Your event is most likely to pop up on the media radar if you send your release about two weeks before the event. You can send a follow-up copy of the release the week of the event as well.
Pack the release with details. Include information about which schools are participating, how many classrooms, the total count of students, and the total number of volunteers involved. Ask someone in your organization to share a quick, compelling quote about the importance and impact of this event.
Remember to include Montana Campus Compact, ServeMontana, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps Seniors in the press release as appropriate.
Really spread the word. Aside from traditional newspaper and TV station media, send your release to local radio stations, public broadcasting networks, independent and Internet media, and even university media.
Connect & Share on Social Media with the hashtag #MLKDay
Register Your Event
To help recruit additional volunteers in your community, register your event on JustServe!
Montana Campus Compact’s project listing for MLK Read for Peace in Missoula is available here.
AmeriCorps Senior Leader Jonathan Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) has administrative privileges for Montana Campus Compact and is able to post projects across Montana. Send details about your event to Jonathan, and he is happy to share your project with potential volunteers on JustServe. Be sure to include #MLK in the title of the project to make it discoverable through the AmeriCorps Volunteer Search.
Statewide Read for Peace Activities
MLK Read for Peace is a required activity for all MTCC AmeriCorps and VISTA members. However, you are encouraged to participate in other service projects related to MLK Day. If you are curious about events that will occur in your area, we recommend exploring the listings here or contacting your local MTCC AmeriCorps member(s).
- Flathead Nation (Polson)
- Fort Peck Nation (Poplar)
- Miles City
- Park County
- Red Lodge