The Times West Virginian

Local News

August 28, 2013

County students ‘know and understand who Dr. King is’

FAIRMONT — The legacy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind is more than just a history lesson at area schools.

Monongah Elementary principal Rob Moore said the ideals King advocated so strongly for are evident in the attitudes of the school’s students.

“We have a very diverse student population. They’re from all walks of life in terms of race, need and socioeconomic status,” Moore said. “The kids come to school every day and are not affected by one another’s ethnic background or where they go to church. Our students all look at each other like they’re just another kid.”

And Moore said that when the students pass each other in the hallway or sit side-by-side in class, they treat each other with mutual respect.

“Our kids probably don’t even know it, but they are how we all ought to be,” Moore said. “They look at the content of a person’s character.”

And, according to Moore, that type of behavior is encouraged as soon as the students walk into the building.

“One of my favorite things to say to the kids is that it doesn’t matter who you are, but how you are,” he said. “That’s always been a credo that we’ve included in our positive behavior support program.”

Moore also said that in January, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an entire month is dedicated to learning about King. From essay contests to projects for art class to weekly character education classes, students in all grade levels are exposed to his legacy.

“It’s a part of our multicultural education program,” Moore said. “Our students know and understand who Dr. King is.”

So while the historical facts and the role King played in the country’s social development are incorporated into the curriculum on a daily basis, he said the students are learning much more: to abide by the values he stood for.

“It’s important to teach kids how to show empathy and understand how others learn and feel to make them successful in life,” Katy Merendino, a fourth-grade teacher at Watson Elementary, said.

Merendino said teamwork and equality are two basic themes that are emphasized throughout the school year.

“I feel those two things really go along with what Martin Luther King did for our country,” she said.

At Watson, individual classrooms are part of an open floor plan and are not separated by walls. Merendino said this unique style lends to an enhanced sense of cooperation among students.

“We focus everything on teamwork and have a class meeting every Friday,” Merendino said. “We get together in a circle and everyone sits on the floor, including the teachers. It shows students that everybody is created equal and how to be kind.”

Katie Ridenour, another fourth-grade teacher at Watson, said they also make it a priority to encourage students to celebrate individuality and appreciate one another’s abilities.

“We stress that each of our students is skilled in something. One person may be a really good artist, another may be a really good writer and another may be really good at math,” Ridenour said. “We really press the kids to succeed in what they’re good at, but also realize they should appreciate those things about each other and not be jealous.”

Moore, Merendino and Ridenour agreed that passing on the importance of diversity and equality from generation to generation is the way to make King’s dream come true — and create a positive influence on society and the world.

“Our kids truly accept diversity, and their lives are enriched by it,” Moore said.

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • $5,000 allocated to Korean War Veterans Memorial

    The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Marion County is closer to completion thanks to an allocation from the county commission.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairmont man arrested on heroin charges

    A Fairmont man has been arrested on heroin charges.

    July 30, 2014

  • Ronald Mersky-EG.JPG Landfill safety taught at workshop

     Educators from around the state started a three-day workshop to learn more about recycling.
    The Marion County Recycling and Litter Control, and Project ALERT partnered with West Virginia University and NASA IV & V Facility to host “Marion County, West Virginia, Earth and Beyond” workshop.
    On Tuesday, educators learned more about recycling solid waste material properly.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • FirstEnergy ending retiree health care subsidies Dec. 31

    he end is drawing near for FirstEnergy Corp.’s health care subsidies for retirees.
    As of Jan. 1, 2015, FirstEnergy will no longer provide subsidized health care for retirees. Todd Meyers, spokesman for Mon Power, which is one of the utility companies under FirstEnergy, said this was a complex decision.
    “It’s a difficult thing, I know, but health care costs have skyrocketed in this country and many companies have had to unfortunately trim back on health care,” he said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Alecto plans changes for FGH

    Fairmont General Hospital’s sales proceedings are moving forward with the approval of Alecto Healthcare Services Fairmont LLC’s Certificate of Need (CON) by the West Virginia Healthcare Authority July 21.
    In West Virginia, a CON is required of all health care providers before they add or expand health care services, exceed the capital expenditure threshold of $3,048,803, obtain medical equipment that is valued at $3,048,803 or developing or acquiring

    July 30, 2014

  • City wooding door -ts.jpg City needs ‘room to grow’

     Fairmont city officials and staff boarded a city bus Tuesday to take tours of three potential sites for a new Municipal Building Complex.
    One of the sites was the Huntington Bank on Adams Street downtown, followed by the City Center building (also known as the old Post Office) and the Masonic Temple on Jefferson Street. While the Huntington Bank building currently houses both Huntington Bank and additional tenants, the City Center building and the Masonic Temple are both currently vacant. The city currently owns the Masonic Temple; if chosen, the other two properties would need to be purchased from their present owners.

    July 30, 2014 9 Photos

  • Fairmont man sentenced for sexual assault, burglaries

    A Fairmont man will serve three to 35 years in prison for sexually assaulting a juvenile and for nighttime burglaries.
    Matthew Allen Martin, 26, of Fairmont, entered a plea agreement with the state Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and two counts of burglary.

    July 30, 2014

  • FGH sales proceedings move forward

    Fairmont General Hospital’s sales proceedings are moving forward with the approval of Alecto Healthcare Services Fairmont LLC’s Certificate of Need by the West Virginia Healthcare Authority July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • End near for FirstEnergy subsidies for retirees

    The end is drawing near for FirstEnergy Corp.’s health care subsidies for retirees.

    July 29, 2014

  • Chamber hosts adult education event

    The Marion County Chamber of Commerce helped local adults find new opportunities through its Beyond the Backyard adult education event Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads