Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. was especially memorable for the kids at Granite Falls Middle School this year.
Not only did they get to see images of King on a huge screen and learn more about the Nobel Peace Prize winner, but they were also treated to the words of special guest speaker, Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.
Lovick, who was born in the south, shared his childhood memories of growing up there and those of King.
“I will always remember exactly where I was when Dr. King was killed,” he said.
He also shared what he thinks King would tell the students if he were here today.
“First, he would tell you that you are the students of today and the leaders of tomorrow,” Lovick said. “You have to stay in school.”
He also told them to be honest and respectful to everyone.
“Respect starts with self-respect,” he told them.
Lovick also explained the 10 foot rule, mostly to the boys, telling them that if a lady is within 10 feet of a door, a gentleman should open it for her.
“Never give up,” he said. “These are difficult times in our economy right now, but never give up.”
Lovick also reminded them that hatred was frowned upon by Dr. King.
“If you harbor any hatred or bitterness in your heart for anyone, I believe Dr. King would tell you to lose the hatred,” he said.
One of the greatest things he learned from Martin Luther King was that love is necessary to keep this nation strong.
“Dr. King said we live in a nation founded on honor, respect and love and when you live in a nation founded on the principle of love to hate is too much of a burden for you to bear,” Lovick explained to the students.
Lovick and all of those at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office were great examples of the teachings of King that day.
They walked into the GFMS gymnasium with boxes and boxes of food that they had collected over the last month, which will go to support the Granite Falls Middle School Backpack Program.
This program helps feed the school’s homeless and families who live in poverty. It is run by teacher volunteers who fill the backpacks on Fridays with nutritious food for students whose primary meals are those they receive at school during the week—meals they cannot get on the weekends or during vacations.
The program also collects donated clothing and toiletry items for any students who don’t have running water at home and use the school locker room showers before class in the morning.
Lovick also brought with him a check for $5,020 to go towards the program.
“There is no shame in not having, the shame is in not reaching out to help others,” Lovick told the children.
The teachers and students who organized the fundraising for the backpack program were excited to see the abundance of food and cash that the Sheriff’s office brought.
“There are 42 homeless kids in Granite Falls and that’s pretty bad,” student Taggert Myhre said. “We were astonished.”