Chadron State College recruited the help of about 350 elementary and middle school students to help celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21.
The program in Memorial Hall, which featured singing by the elementary students and remarks from a variety of speakers, began at the conclusion of CSC’s annual march to honor King. About 100 people marched the seven blocks from downtown Chadron to the celebration at CSC’s Memorial Hall.
Chadron music teacher Chris Dickerson led the students in a variety of songs about King and the spirit of his movement. In addition to elementary and college students, about 40 students of the Pine Ridge Job Corps joined the festivities.
David Nesheim, a member of the CSC diversity committee, said the idea to involve the elementary school students evolved after he took part in the CSC march last year, his first year as a CSC faculty member. Nesheim took his daughter out of elementary school that day to participate in the event.
“After that, I wanted to make the event bigger and get the elementary schools involved,” Nesheim said. “I knew Mrs. Dickerson does a great job with the students and wanted them to be a part of the program.”
CSC’s events also included a roundtable discussion and films about King and his legacy. The last of the films – “The Legacy of Rosa Parks” and “The Children’s March” – were scheduled to be shown Monday night at 6 p.m. in the Student Center.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services