Every January, fifth-graders from around Kootenai County come to North Idaho College’s Schuler Auditorium to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. The kids read essays they’ve written, sing songs, perform dances and hear from a keynote speaker.
This year’s speaker was Billy Mills, the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in the 10,000 meters. Mills spoke about following your dreams and finding mentors to help you reach them. Mills, an Oglala Sioux Indian, told the kids he was inspired by two great men of history: Crazy Horse and Gandhi.
A favorite part of the show is the lighting of 14 candles, from a central candle, to represent the 14 schools taking part in the celebration.
The event always ends with singing and signing along with “Love Can Build A Bridge” by The Judds.
Here are some excerpts from this year’s program, which took place Jan. 13, 2006.