On Monday, January 20th, the Reading Public Schools and the Town of Reading Human Relations Advisory Committee presented the Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the William E. Endslow Performing Arts Center. Over 300 families and community members attended this inspirational event. The event featured beautiful music by the Reading Memorial High School Singers, the METCO Elementary School Chorus, the Korean Church of the Nazarene, and the Reading Community Singers. RMHS students Hannah Byron and Jennie Dockser from the A World of Difference Club talked about how Martin Luther King, Jr. and Leonard Zakim have been role models in standing together for justice. In addition, RMHS students and members of the Gay Straight Alliance Club Shayla Leary and Lily Mittnight talked the powerful impact that Harvey Milk and Malala Yousafzai have had on our world.
One of the many highlights of the event was the inspirational “Hero Art” program by Rob Surrette. In his presentation, which included a multimedia celebration of heroes in history, science, social studies, literature, art, music, athletics, drama, Rob created portraits right in front of our very eyes of Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln. Rob’s message was to inspire us to be our “best self.”
Rob will create four additional portraits, Martin Luther King, Leonard Zakim, Harvey Milk and Malala Yousafzai which will be proudly displayed on the walls of the Patrick A. Schettini, Jr. Library at Reading Memorial High School. In addition, due to a generous donation from Board of Selectmen Member John Halsey, the four portraits that Rob created at the event will be on display in Reading as well.
Special thanks goes out to Eastern Bank, Kohl’s Department Stores, the Reading Cultural Council, and Moynihan Lumber for sponsoring this event. Also, a special thanks to the Reading Human Relations Advisory Council for coordinating this event.