Indeed, that was the impetus behind Hood’s invitation to King to address the students and guests at the South Miami-Dade school.
“The significance of having Martin Luther King III here is tremendous,” Hood said. “I think his message echoes what we’re trying to do here at Palmer Trinity and that is to educate the whole child.”
Ethan, 14, who spent three days polishing his speech for the event, said that King’s stories and memories helped bring Dr. King alive to his fellow classmates. “It helps us connect to Martin Luther King but also to connect to him as an individual because he was a great man and he inspires us.”
Ariel Edwards, 30, the senior site director for the Breakthrough program at Palmer Trinity, was similarly enthused as about 15 students, ages 9-12, from South Dade’s Leisure City, gathered to hear King inside Palmer’s gymnasium.
“Our hope was that we had the opportunity to be exposed to history and to get motivation and continue working hard,” Edwards said, adding that she hopes the Breakthrough students she mentors heard King’s message Wednesday and “understand their place in this generation and understand how they can do so much more if they believe in themselves and how their ability to do small things can create a huge effect. ... This was a great to have the collaboration between public and private schools.”
Palmer Trinity’s Spanish and filmmaking teacher Raul Gonzalez, who put together the event’s video montage, which featured images of Dr. King and his family, the iconic “I Have a Dream speech” delivered from the nation’s capital 50 years ago, and King’s funeral in 1968, found the morning presentation hopeful.
“Having the opportunity to have Martin Luther King III here, to bring his father’s legacy, and his own legacy, will stay with the kids and allow them to bring that to the world,” Gonzalez said. “It was a little seed that was planted today that I’m sure will go far.”
Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.