Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 20) marked the first snow make-up day in Northwest Arkansas. But instead of going to school, dozens of students went to the MLK Youth Breakfast at the University of Arkansas.
Teens known as the MLK Dream Keepers hosted the annual breakfast to celebrate the life and legacy of the Civil Rights leader.
“A day to celebrate his accomplishments and his contributions to the United States was important to us,” said Elecia Smith.
Her two sons Sterling and Xavier have been attending the breakfast for years and they said it was too important for them to miss.
Sterling Smith, 15, is a Rogers High School student.
“To miss this event and not go would be kind of disrespectful to what Martin Luther King Junior tried to do here and I think that us going to school wasn’t the greatest idea but I guess it had to be done cause of the schedule,” Sterling said.
His older brother Xavier, 18, is a senior at RHS.
“You don’t necessarily get that at school when you go to school so I think it’s a great opportunity to learn about what our ancestors went through,” Xavier said.
The Northwest Arkansas MLK Council wants to make sure the younger generations know about the Civil Rights movements and what Dr. King stands for. The council hopes schools taught students something about MLK Day.
Dr. Danielle L. Wood, the council’s former president, said the council communicated with some of the region’s school district.
It’s my understanding that the school systems have been very supportive with allowing their students to be out to be involved in our activities today, which we really appreciate that,” Wood said.
Smith said she took her two sons back to school after the event.
“I think it’s wonderful that they wanted to take a few minutes, a couple of hours to commemorate his legacy,” Smith said.
The MLK Jr. Day festivities will end at the Fayetteville Town Center with the scholarship banquet.