Clark Students Learn About Diversity, Service & Acceptance

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Principal Joseph Beltramba and Guidance Counselor Ashley Aligo are with students Alissa Stumpf, Marisa Venturella, and Jack Young, as they place self-portrait crayons in the Valley Road School Crayon Box. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

Principal Joseph Beltramba and Guidance Counselor Ashley Aligo are with students Alissa Stumpf, Marisa Venturella, and Jack Young, as they place self-portrait crayons in the Valley Road School Crayon Box. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

CLARK — On Monday, Jan. 21, Valley Road School in Clark honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day by devoting the afternoon to activities revolving around Dr. King’s teachings. With the help of the Olweus Committee and K-Kids, Guidance Counselor Ashley Aligo set up three separate sessions dedicated to three important aspects of Dr. King’s beliefs: Diversity, Service, and Acceptance.

Every class was paired up with their buddy class for each of the sessions. During the “Diversity” session, teachers read the book “The Crayon Box That Talked,” written by Shane Derolf, to their classes. This book teaches children about on diversity: just as the crayons in a crayon box are all different colors, every person is special and unique in their own way; however, when we all come together, we can make a beautifully colorful picture. After reading the story, each student made their own crayon, depicting a self-portrait, and listing some of their own special qualities. When they were done, they put their own crayons into a big “Valley Road School Crayon Box.”

The “Service” session was based on Dr. King’s belief that service gives power to the people, strengthens communities, and moves us closer to his vision of a “Beloved Community.” For this session, each student, with their buddy, made a Valentine’s Day card that will be sent to the Clark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to help brighten the patients’ day. During the “Acceptance” session, the third, fourth, and fifth grade students performed a play for their younger buddy class. This play was based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood experiences that transformed his beliefs and fostered his journey for peace and harmony for all people.


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