Fifth graders at Saint Dominic School in Kingsport are learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech 50 years ago.
In Mrs. Arnold’s fifth-grade classroom students are writing down their dreams. It’s a class project coinciding with a famous date in history. "It's MLK's day, when he gave the 'I Have A Dream' speech," explains fifth grader Nicholas Mize.
It’s a lesson typically saved for the second semester, but teachers here felt the 50th anniversary was the perfect time to introduce Dr. King's dream and what it means. "[He wanted to] bring peace to the world and connect the people," explains Jeremy Gonzales.
"If we can teach the kids now, then we might not have that problem of having to repeat our mistakes in the past," says teacher Megan Arnold.
Although many things have changed over the last 50 years, students here have a good understanding of what life was like back then. "Two of us would have to go to a different school because we have brown-colored skin," explains Sonali Poobalasingham.
But these fifth graders don't see things the way some saw them 50 years ago. When asked what they look for when making friends, the answers were about what's on the inside. "That they're nice and my age and friendly," says fifth grader Anna Sago.
If Dr. King were alive today the students here think, "He would be proud," says Poobalasingham.
The students even shared some of their own dreams for the next 50 years. "To stop racism," says Poobalasingham.
"To protect the animals and have peace throughout the world," adds Gonzales.
"To make the environment better," says Mize.
"My dream is that all students go to college to better themselves, that they all will get good jobs," says Sago.
Some big dreams for some young students hoping to make the world a better place.