I’ve Been to the Mountaintop: A Celebration of MLK, Jr. with Lower School Boys

One guiding principle of Allen-Stevenson is building boys to be better men: not only academically, but socially and emotionally. Part of that means teaching them to see the world not only through an academic lens but a personal one. That’s why, on January 25, we hosted an Assembly for our Lower School, in appreciation and in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
The event started with special guest artist and speaker Owusu Slather, who played the drum as the boys entered. From the beginning, the drums set the tone for the Assembly. Second Grade Teacher Ginny Rowe then led the students in singing “Dr. King Was a Civil Rights Leader.” To reinforce the collective idea of community at Allen-Stevenson, kindergarten and second grade boys learned the song a week before, and were the leaders for the assembly, teaching the first and third grade the lyrics. By the second round, everyone in the Assembly Hall was singing along. 
Following the musical section, the event shifted to education and reflection. Raam Arun Melvani '20, Vivek Laddha '20, and Max West '20 who are all active in the US Boys of Color of Allen Stevenson (BOCAS) Affinity Group talked about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They had the boys reflect on what this means and asked questions such as “Why do you think his non-violent approach was effective?” and “What do you think we can learn from Martin Luther King, Jr. in how we handle conflict today?”
The Assembly ended with Owusu Slather and the US BOCAS members reciting part of MLK’s final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The Assembly was a perfect representation of what we teach at Allen-Stevenson. The songs resonated with some, others took to heart the speech, while others found the discussion most impactful. In whatever way the boys learned or what they garnered from the Assembly, one thing is clear Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lessons still apply.

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.