Rev. Happy Watkins Inspires Jefferson Elem. Students To Dream B - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rev. Happy Watkins Inspires Jefferson Elem. Students To Dream Big & Embrace Love, Just Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Rev. Happy Watkins Rev. Happy Watkins
SPOKANE, Wash. - Every year on the 3rd Monday of January, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  For young kids, that usually translates to one thing: no school. 
 
This year, at Jefferson Elementary School, the students were pushed to learn a little bit more about the importance of Dr. King's message from Spokane's own Reverend Happy Watkins.
 
Rev. Watkins normally recites Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech around the community at this time of year, but this presentation was extra special because it was geared towards a much younger audience.
 
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Rev. Watkins shared pieces of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech with the entire school.
 
"W
e hold these truths to be self evident," bellowed Watkins.  "That all men and women, boys and girls, are created equal."
 
But, excerpts from Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech were just a small portion of the presentation.  He mainly talked to the students about the relevance of Dr. King's message - the importance of non-violence and love and the importance of dreaming big.
 
"My 2 grandsons go here so they asked me if I'd come share a few words about MLK and the dream," explained Rev. Watkins.  "They [the students] won't know much about civil rights, back 40, 50 years ago, but I think they know something about bullying, teasing, and making it unsafe for other students."
 
The staff at Jefferson Elementary was very excited that Rev. Watkins was there to spread Dr. King's message.
 
"I think the visual picture of him sitting there telling the stories, messages to children that's unlike reading or looking it up online," explained Principal Mary-Dean Wooley.  "He brought it to life for the boys and girls."
 
And, children as young as 1st grade seemed to understand the importance of Rev. Watkins' speech and the importance of commemorating Dr. King.  
 
"He's a very good man, and he helped save our country from unfair laws," explained Mikey, a 1st grader.
 
"If everyone doesn't get treated the same it's not fair" said Allison, also in 1st grade. 
 
And, most importantly, they recognized that love trumps all.  Mikey put it best.
 
"Love is the most important thing in the world and the whole universe," he said.
 
And, at the end of the day, that is what Rev. Watkins, through his own preachings and the words of Dr. King, was trying to say. 
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