Eight-year-old Gabriella Tropeano laid her blank round white cardboard paper on the table and imagined what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful vision of the world would look like.
She filled the paper with the words “Peace on Earth” and “I Have a Dream.” Her 6-year-old brother, Aidan, covered his blank paper with a dove and the words “believe,” “love” and “peace.”
Their mother, Deanna Tropeano, said she was motivated for them to attend the "Dreaming with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." workshop to inspire their creativity and give them a better understanding of King. The workshop was held Monday at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City to honor King’s birthday.
“They are learning about Dr. King in school, and I thought bringing them here would give them more of a creative insight,” said Tropeano, 30, of Levittown.
The workshop featured the audio of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and a discussion about King’s legacy led by the museum’s outreach manager and workshop instructor, Stacey Lee. The theme for the workshop was prejudice, discrimination and racism.
“We discuss Dr. King’s vision and life and what led him to being a part of the civil rights movement. We created this workshop to bring awareness about Dr. King and his legacy,” said Lee, 28, of Queens.
Using tissue paper, markers, glue and puffy paint, children created abstract peaceful collages. Six-year-old Jael Charlton drew a pink heart in the middle of her white dove.
“Dr. King is a hero,” said Jael.
Her mother, Briana Charlton, decided that the workshop was a great idea to attend to learn more about history.
“It’s important for my daughter to understand history. She knows Dr. King is a hero because he fought for civil rights and Dr. King was peaceful,” said Charlton, 35, of Freeport.
During the workshop, Lee discussed the importance of King’s vision and his peaceful movement. Lee asked the children questions such as, “How would you stop prejudice?”
Gabriella quickly raised her hand and answered, “You should get to know people and treat them fairly.”