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‘I Have a Dream’: Bring the Spirit of MLK into Your Classroom

June 4, 2024

‘I Have a Dream’: Bring the Spirit of MLK into Your Classroom

Realize the Dream is a call to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by uniting and uplifting communities across America through 100 million hours of service.


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By Sarah Mathay-Zurbuchen

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in a life spent in service to a greater, common good. So, as we approach the anniversary of his historic “I Have a Dream” speech this August, we’re once again reminded that we all have the power to change the world—if we only have the vision, the will and the motivation to make it happen.

realize the dream

It’s in that spirit that his son, Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King (and mentee of Coretta Scott King); and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, the only grandchild of the late Dr. King, have launched Realize the Dream

the king family
The King Family

Realize the Dream is a bold movement to rally communities to perform 100 million hours of service by the 100th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth. It’s a call for us all to reach out to people and causes in need—and make a difference through acts of love, compassion and goodwill.

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Will You Help Realize the Dream?

Educators, school staff and families have a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation, to call them to be part of something greater, and help them reap the emotional and tangible benefits of service. 

In fact, as an educator, you can play a crucial role in Realize the Dream by incorporating experiential service learning into your classroom. That’s why we’re supporting your efforts with free classroom resources—like lesson packages, campaign guides, issue cards and on-demand programming.

individuals performing service

There’s no better time to highlight the importance of service learning than in the months leading up to MLK Day or Black History Month—and by finding ways to extend those lessons throughout the year by connecting them to curriculum standards. 

It’s why we’re offering a series of promotional and educational opportunities, including our “Realize the Dream: Answering Dr. King's Call to Service in Your Classroom”  webinar, offered as part of Share My Lesson's Summer of Learning Series this July.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Engage your students in service learning, meet your standards, and address real-world community issues that your students care deeply about; 
  • Connect local issues to content areas such as linking food insecurity to language arts and community service to social studies; and 
  • Provide Realize the Dream’s easy-to-follow framework—K-12 curriculum, classroom videos, grants and much more—to help you lead, serve, inspire, and connect with the issues you care about in your local and global community.

Be sure to join us!

Track Your Hours, Share Your Stories

You can help us drive momentum by sharing news about Realize the Dream in your classroom and community. You can also help students track their service hours, or share your inspiring stories. We definitely want to hear how your group is inspiring change and making a difference!

“Volunteering and service to others is not just about helping those in need; it’s also about building bridges and fostering understanding between people,” says Martin Luther King III. “It’s an opportunity to step outside our comfort zones and connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level. It is through these connections that we can begin to break down barriers and build a stronger, better and more unified America.” 

Join us, and help Realize the Dream!

Sarah Mathay-Zurbuchen

About the Author

Sarah Mathay-Zurbuchen’s career is as a lifelong learner with a side of service. With nearly 20 years in the non-profit sector as a leader, teacher and community volunteer, she thrives building strategic partnerships, strengthening community engagement, designing inspiring learning opportunities, and developing impactful education programs. As much as she loves learning, she also loves teaching, particularly English to newcomers to Canada.

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Realize the Dream: Answering Dr King’s Call to Service In Your Classroom

Join Education+ to learn how to authentically engage your students in service-learning, meet your standards, and address real-world community issues that your students care deeply about! 

Education+ is an inspiring platform of free, experiential service-learning and SEL opportunities and resources empowering teachers and students to become powerful agents of change. 

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