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Local Students Learn about Dr. King at the Jewish Community Center in DeWitt

William Wallak
Jewish Community Center, DeWitt, NY

As Onondaga County public school students had this Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Day off, some kids attended a camp to learn more about who Dr. King was and his accomplishments for equal rights for all.  The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse hosts the annual camp.  Director of Children and Teen Services, Mick Hagan says some students arrive at the camp not knowing the whole story.

“Today, we’re just kind of giving them a brief overview of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he’s done for our country and by showing them different crafts and activities for them to do all day.  We’re doing some word searches and some fill in the blanks… kinda get the history and then, later-on we’re gonna do a mural with all their hands on a mural paper.”

Credit William Wallak / Jewish Community Center, DeWitt, NY
Jewish Community Center, DeWitt, NY

The first student to raise his hand to offer what he’s learned about Dr. King was Sam, who had no problem conversing with our reporter.

“He had a Dream. Changing the laws. So white people and black people to join each other.”

A girl who’s been attending the camp since she was a toddler is Abiyah (uh-BEE-yah).  She was coloring a picture of Dr. King when she took a moment to reflect on the day.

“He was trying to sort things out so black people and white people can have the same things and be equal.”

The Jewish Community Center offers a couple of different vacation day camps that fall on holidays.  Public Relations Director William Wallak explains how these days off become teachable moments that can last a lifetime.

“To teach them about the day about why it’s important to recognize why they have a day off. So, for example Veterans Day we teach them about why it’s important to honor our Veterans and to know that it’s not just a day off from school where they go and have fun. But, there is a reason behind the day off and it’s to honor our Veterans as well as Dr. King on a day like today.”

An estimated 30 kids attended the Martin Luther King Junior Day Vacation Camp for ages K through six.