Kids learn ideas of MLK Jr. at library

Wood County Library provided children a chance to learn about diversity on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when it held a program titled ‘Building a Bridge.’

Centered around Lisa Shook Begaye’s book by the same name, the program was designed to help children appreciate differences among people.

Janet Zimmerman, who directed the program, said it used ‘books, cooperative games and a craft to teach children about differences between people.’

For one of the activities, the children gathered around a table to make pins that were puzzle pieces painted in various colors of peoples’ skin.

They also listened to Zimmerman read a number of children’s books which dealt with differences among people. These books showed how differences were positive and not negative.

In one book Zimmerman read, one child was initially shunned and then admired because she brought sushi to school to eat. This prompted a discussion about which children in the group had eaten sushi, and who would like to try it.

After the books, the children talked about ways that people are all different. When asked what kinds of differences among people the children had noticed, they commented on such things as height and eye color. One child shouted out, ‘We all have different pants!’ Everyone then held out their legs to compare pants.

Zimmerman helped the children to understand that eating different foods was another way of being diverse, and she talked about different kinds of food that the children ate.

They then sat in a circle on the floor to play a Native American game called ‘Grinding Corn.’

All of these activites seemed to be successful. The children responded excitedly to each of the ways of approaching diversity and learned to appreciate differences. One child commented, ‘There’s really more that’s the same about us than there is different.’