Recently, a flier was sent home in the backpacks of the 300 plus students at the Oakdale Elementary School. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Principal Holli Armstrong was holding her annual “Hero Day” at the local school.
The students in grades 1-5 were encouraged to choose a person in their life, who they consider to be a hero (no sports stars or celebrities please). The children were asked to research, write about and even dress up as their hero.
A hero is defined as a man or a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities.
An assembly was scheduled for Thurs. Jan. 17, to tell the story of Dr. King and to share the stories of the heroes that the Oakdale children had chosen.
Dr. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929 and was a prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, until his untimely death in April 1968. It was King's 1963 March on Washington, when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
This annual event at Oakdale, is Ms. Armstrong's way of not only teaching her children about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but opening their eyes and minds to what it “really means to be a hero.”
There were as many different tales of heroes as there were children telling them. The most touching story we heard however, was from one little girl who told the crowded gym, that her “adoptive parents” were her heroes!
After being in different foster homes, with different parents and different friends, along with living in different towns for most of her young life – she proudly told the crowd that her life was now “complete.”
She was adopted by a couple, right here in Dedham, and finally has her own room, her own family, her own friends, and is beginning her own life… She ended by saying that she can love her heroes and that they will love her too – forever!
Principal Armstrong closed out the assembly, by telling the students that her mom, Corinne, was indeed her “hero” as well. Corinne, who passed away not too long ago, possessed all of the great traits that it takes to be a hero. It was her hard work, integrity and compassion, that still motivates Ms. Armstrong to this day.