Teens and tweens will enjoy a school holiday on January 15 to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Opportunities abound to join family, friends and neighbors in a day of service and celebration, providing an impetus to discuss social justice. Here are several community events and a few ideas for a meaningful but cozy day at home.
Celebrating justice, educating
youth in community
Join an MLK Day celebration at the Ann Arbor District Library 2-3pm with the Rhythm Life Collective, a global drumming group which aims “to manifest spirit in community through performance.” All ages can interact and participate in this free event at the Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.
Don’t take those dancing shoes off just yet! From the Library, walk over to the University of Michigan Diag to join hands at the Annual MLK Circle of Unity 3-4pm, featuring musicians Joe Reilly and Julie Beutel along with more song, dance and spoken word. Free, all ages.
University of Michigan’s MLK Children and Youth Program celebrates its 20th year for kids to learn about the life of Dr. King at this free event from 8:30am-3pm in the Modern Languages Building at 812 E. Washington, Ann Arbor. Advance registration required: sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/mlk
Teens can participate in an environmental day of service with the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation team, caring for the Barton Nature Area from 1 to 3pm. Advance registration required, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the MLK Day of Service mission by visiting mlkday.gov online.
A day for literature, history and reflection
Henry Ford Museum offers free general admission to enjoy MLK Day events and celebrations from 9:30am-5pm. The museum will feature opportunities throughout the day to view the short film “Minds on Freedom” and learn about the civil rights movement. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will offer several special events and exhibits for families to celebrate from 9am-6pm at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. Admission includes all exhibits. $8 for adults (ages 13 +), $5 for seniors (62 +) and youth (ages 3 – 12), free for children under 3.
Joining the community from home
Enjoy this winter holiday at home. In addition to nearby museums, visit the National Civil Rights Museum online at civilrightsmuseum.org or The King Center at thekingcenter.org and explore their e-learning activities.
This cozy winter day might be best with cocoa, cookies and books. Tweens may enjoy Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader while older teens might like I Have a Dream or A Time to Break Silence by Dr. King.
Local libraries also have more gems, designed for teens and tweens. Let this be a day for deepened understanding and joyful learning.