'Kindness and Justice Challenge' keeps King's spirit alive in schools
January 19, 1998
Students at Murphy Candler Elementary learn moral courage through King's example
Web posted at: 11:46 a.m. EDT (1146 GMT)
ATLANTA (CNN) -- In the run-up to Martin Luther King Day,
more than 12,000 educators and thousands of students across
the nation have been involved in a two-week program aimed at
building character through action in the spirit of the famous
civil rights leader.
Murphy Candler Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia, was
one of the schools that adopted the program, called The
National Kindness and Justice Challenge.
The staff at the school said the main goal is to learn about
the civil rights leader's commitment to justice and moral
"Boys and girls: 'Moral courage' is knowing what to do and
how to do something, even it is difficult," a teacher told
Principal Debby Loeb said the program gave the children a
chance to take what they've learned outside the classroom.
"I've been doing acts of kindness for others and hoping they
would show me kindness back," said young student Kristin
Askew. "I helped an old lady cross the street and I took her
to the store with my mom."
The National Kindness and Justice Challenge, pioneered in
1994 by students and teachers in Newark, New Jersey, involves
dozens of national educational and service organizations.
These organizations provide schools with an education
curriculum that encourages all students to do acts of
kindness and justice.
Correspondent Loretta Lepore contributed to this report.