Across all four campuses in January, Shady Side Academy celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 11th annual SSA MLK Days of Service. Although the Academy was not able to send teams of volunteers out into the community or invite parents to join group service activities on campus this year due to COVID-19, SSA kept this important tradition alive by engaging students in educational and service activities in honor of Dr. King's legacy.
Country Day School students celebrated Dr. King's legacy during a virtual assembly on Friday, Jan. 22. Led by music teacher Tami Fire, students and faculty sang and marched together to the civil rights anthem, Marching Up to Freedomland. Next, students listened to a reading of Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by the book's author, Lisbeth Kaiser. Kindergarten students shared artwork they created featuring their favorite word to describe Dr. King, such as brave, love, kindness and peace. Finally, students and faculty sang This Little Light of Mine. In the two weeks following the assembly, students are participating in a "Peace Project," where each class will study a person who has championed peace and equity and create a wordfoto about the person. Classes will present what they have learned at virtual assemblies on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, and the wordfotos will be displayed around the school.
The Junior School celebrated MLK Day during an all-school assembly on Wednesday, Jan. 20. In keeping with the school's 2020-2021 theme of superheroes, students discussed Dr. King's superpowers and how he used them to make the world a better place, then listened to clips from his I Have A Dream speech. Students also listened to a conversation between SSA sixth grader Julian Brown and his father about how his understanding of Dr. King's work has changed. Julian then shared his original song, Kindness, which he wrote in 2020 for his fifth grade capstone project. Teachers planned other classroom activities to honor Dr. King as well. For example, JPK students listened to the song, With My Own Two Hands, while coloring a set of hands and reflecting on how they can help make the world better, and third grade art students painted MLK portraits that are on display in the wing hall. Watch a recording of the JS assembly here.
Middle School students held a special all-school assembly on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in honor of MLK Day. Each grade watched a speech by Dr. King in advisory groups. The students discussed the speech and how its themes still resonate today. Middle School students are also participating in a multi-campus food drive through Jan. 29 that will benefit Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh's two daytime shelters. The downtown shelters provide warmth and food to Pittsburgh's homeless population during the cold winter months.
On Tuesday, Jan. 19, during Designated Rooms, Senior School students participated in an activity in their advisory groups to raise awareness of homelessness in Pittsburgh. The activity included completing a free writing exercise, watching a video and having a group discussion about homelessness and what they can do to address the issue in our community. The Senior School community is also participating in the Catholic Charities Food Drive through Jan. 29.
CDS MLK Assembly Photos
JS MLK Artwork