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Yates Art Project Honors MLK’s Legacy

Yates Art Project Honors MLK’s Legacy

Yates Elementary students are again honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through a schoolwide art project. They have decorated brown paper grocery bags with pictures, quotes, and themes of the iconic civil rights leader, and the bags will be available for shoppers on Monday (Jan. 15 holiday) at the Bryan Station Kroger.

“This is about sharing what we learned in art class with our community, highlighting Dr. King’s work, and hopefully it brings joy to the shoppers,” said art teacher Michelle Thomas, who began the project here in 2019. “I chose the closest grocery store to the school in hopes that students and their families shop there. The students get so excited about their art being shared in their neighborhood grocery store,” she added.

Through the years, the art project has evolved with current events and has been guided by the students’ experiences and knowledge of King. Younger students learn about bravery, kindness, love, and using their voice if they disagree with something going on around them. Older classes focus more on desegregation, equality, boycotts, non-violence, and most importantly identifying things that need to change. This year, Thomas used the lyrical picture book “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” to talk about how students can “Be the Change.” 

“The art and the bags are beautiful, unique, and interesting, but the real learning objective is Dr. King's life and principals, history, equality, racism, and identifying changes that need to be made in the world today,” Thomas said.