Before the class began reading, Mrs. Gunn shared the following with her students:
“Today we are going to talk about a very important person. I might get weepy, like when I talk about Jesus. Not because I am sad, but because I am grateful. When I talk about Dr. King - I get a little weepy because he lived like Jesus and he changed the world. I love ya’ll and ya’ll love me. And we love our friends, don’t we? I don’t know anybody, in my life, that will act like some of the people in this book today. There are people, though, even today, that do not have love in their hearts.
It is important for us to model Jesus and to live like Jesus. Dr. King’s life shows us what that looks like. Today, we are going to hear some hard things. It is okay to hear them, it is not okay to do them. And after we hear the hard things, we will talk about them.”
“He dreamed of a world free of hate and violence. Of a world that reflected the kingdom of God - where people will be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their character.”
After the story, a student raised his hand and asked a hard question, “Why did it end with a bad ending?”
Mrs. Gunn replied with the honest wisdom of a seasoned teacher and follower of Christ.
“He started the change. That is a very good ending and beginning. God wants us to see the person and who they are in their character.”
The students then answered questions from Ms. Gunn, defining “character” as honesty, faithfulness, kindness, love, gentleness, self-control, peace, courageousness, compassion.
Mrs. Gunn encouraged her students:
“We can stand up, just like Dr. King did - for truth and for what is right.
When people said ugly words to his face, he said, “God Bless You” and “I forgive you.”
Was Dr. King a good example of what we are supposed to be? “YES!” resounded her students. “Do we want to make a difference in our city and world?” “YES!”, they said again.
“Now, can ya’ll be like Dr. King? Can ya’ll live like Jesus? Yes! You can! You all can follow your dreams and do hard things. Remember the good and act the good.”
The first graders then began sharing some of their dreams. Here are some of Landmark first grader’s dreams:
Mrs. Gunn closed the discussion with the reminder that prayer is the answer to discover who we were each made to be. She also reminded the students of Mrs. Hopewell’s encouragement from earlier that day - that each one of the students is always a person that stands up and does something for someone else.
We are thankful for the love, care, and time each one of our teachers dedicates to the education and the dreams of our Landmark War Eagles!
In continued celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King, please enjoy the blessing of Pastor Lance’s Elementary Chapel message - Click here.