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Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education, responds to frequently asked questions from parents and educators

Q: How can I help decrease frustrations about current circumstances?

A: Create a wall of hope with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s unwavering belief in hope’s power.

Many are frustrated about current circumstances, but Dr. King’s hope is a guiding light. In the speech he gave on Washington he said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

We all experience frustrations at one time or another. As the world continues to fight the negative impacts of the pandemic, we’re expected to be flexible, change plans and disrupt learning and time together. Although necessary, these expectations do not make us feel good. Helping children understand that Dr. King and those he led during the Civil Rights Movement dealt with similar emotions, but held onto hope to overcome terrible circumstances, is a great teaching moment.

Explain how Dr. King’s hope brought about tremendous changes throughout our country that today we recognize as acceptance and equality. As he worked to turn the country from segregation, prejudice, and hatred, he stood in the face of despair and led with hope.

After a time of reflection with books and multimedia to support learning more about Dr. King’s life and work, ask young learners what frustrates them. Then discuss what they hope for as a solution. Add their hopes to a wall for everyone to embrace.

Check out more Dr. King resources in this newsletter.

Happy Learning,

Mrs. Pizzo

Robin Pizzo leads the education outreach efforts of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the PBS and NPR affiliate serving Michigan's capital region. Robin convenes partnerships and coordinates station initiatives such as WKAR Family and Ready to Learn to bring workshops, learning tools, and other resources into the community to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners.
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