City Neighbors students and teachers March together on WDC August, 2013

City Neighbors students and teachers March together on WDC August, 2013

There we were, all 110 of us from City Neighbors Charter School, marching in the light drizzle and the heavy drizzle, singing Freedom Songs we’d heard about in documentaries and from Ms Paylor, our music teacher, holding up our signs exhorting all those around us to “Remember 1963,”  and echoing that we, too, “Have a Dream!”  As we joined others from around the country, we flowed through the streets of Washington, D.C. on August 28, 2013 like drops of water becoming a river, exactly 50 years to the day that the original marchers paced the national mall on their way to the Lincoln Memorial to bring about such lasting social change.  It was the third day of school… the third day. What school sends their 11-14 year olds into a crowd of 75,000 on the third day of school?

Our school. That’s the kind of school we want.  One where all of us, parents, students, teachers, are still marching-for justice, for equality, for constitutional and human rights and for access to all this is an education in itself.  Our immersive field trip experience in civil rights marching, like all great and profound experiences, was a pivot, pointing back toward the Civil Rights Marchers of the past, back toward Jim Crow and countless injustices of the last century, and pointing forward, knowing someday soon these young people will be testifying on Capitol Hill, arguing before the Supreme Court, Voting in elections just around the corner.  And I have a feeling, that in that future, we old folks may still be called on to march by these young whippersnappers who will continue to fight injustice.  A sixth grader told me she would be there at the 100th anniversary of the March on Washington if I would be.  I wouldn’t miss it.

Kate Seidl, Teacher and Reading Specialist

City Neighbors Charter School

Check out Kate’s Blog HERE