The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

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
  • UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

    April 17, 2014

  • Attorney General - CB.jpg Morrisey wants to work with all to ‘help transform West Virginia’

    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants to work with citizens to “help transform West Virginia.”
    Morrisey was the guest speaker for the Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event Wednesday at the Mon Power headquarters, located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. His trip to the Friendly City followed a town hall meeting in Harrison County Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Behind-the-scenes emergency workers honored

    The Marion County Commission is recognizing the individuals who work behind the scenes when an emergency happens.
    During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners signed a proclamation for National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week in Marion County. The proclamation recognizes individuals working at the Marion County 911 Center.

    April 17, 2014

  • Wallace residents plead guilty to fishing violations

    Two Wallace residents were cited for and pleaded guilty to trout fishing violations.
    Michael Earl Fetty, 70, and Tammy K. Fetty, 46, were issued citations for exceeding possession limit of trout and conspiracy to violate Chapter 20 of the West Virginia State Code.

    April 17, 2014

  • Military Kids 1 - CB.jpg Military children honored for their sacrifices: PHOTOS

    Military children were honored for their sacrifices Tuesday at the Hershel “Woody” Williams Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center.
    The event was planned to coincide with Purple Up! Day, a nationwide initiative that encourages everyone to wear purple in honor of military children across the country.

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Child health: ‘Room for improvement’

    Children living in Marion County are doing better in some respects than children in other counties in the state, according to a national study released Tuesday.
    “The 2013 West Virginia Kids Count Data Book,” published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares states and their counties to each other and to the national average of various areas of child health.

    April 16, 2014

  • Another civil suit filed by Marple

    Though a civil case in already pending in U.S federal court, former state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple has filed another civil suit over her 2012 termination.
    The main difference between the two cases, apparently, is that in addition to naming the West Virginia Board of Education as a plaintiff, former president of the board and current member Wade Linger is individually named in the suit as a defendant.

    April 16, 2014

  • County man indicted for murder of infant

    A Marion County man has been indicted on charges for the death of an infant.
    Marcus Curtis Lewis, 55, was indicted for charges of first-degree murder and death of a child by a parent, guardian of custodian by Taylor County grand jurors Monday. Judge Alan D. Moats is expected to arraign Lewis on Friday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Three arrested on charges stemming from armed robbery

    Three men were arrested in the Fairmont area on charges stemming from an armed robbery.
    Corey Joseph Richardson, 35, of Montgomery Village, Md.; Stephen Joseph Brewington, 26, of Allston, Mass.; and Wallace Anthony Booth Jr., 21, of Fairmont, were arrested on Tuesday and charged with robbery, burglary and conspiracy to commit a felony.

    April 16, 2014

  • marcus lewis.jpg Marion County man indicted in murder of infant

    A Marion County man was indicted by the Taylor County grand jury Monday on charges for the death of an infant.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

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