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Kids paint portraits of peace

Kids at the Long Island Children's Museum in

Kids at the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City paint portraits of peace while listening to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. (Jan. 17, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

Though children across Long Island were out of school on Monday, it was a day of learning at the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City.

During the event at the museum, children sat attentively listening to their instructor talk about Martin Luther King, Jr., his message and its relevance today.

"Look around this room at how different we all are," Stacey Lee, education program coordinator for LICM, told the children. "But we're all here together learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. One hundred years ago, we wouldn't be allowed to do this together."

The children asked questions and chimed in with information they had learned in school during the lecture. Afterward, Lee passed around blank sheets of paper and paint. Lee asked the kids to paint a "portrait of peace," that could take the form of anything they were inspired to draw after learning about King and hearing part of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

While the speech played, blank canvases quickly became colorful pictures of peace signs, portraits of King himself, and more abstract visions of happiness, love and a bright, peaceful future.

Nicole Leavens, of Smithtown, brought her children Sara, 10, and Jack, 7, to the event.

"It gives them the opportunity to take a more active role in their education," she said.

Check back later for a video from the event.


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