Two female Cedar Crest Academy students walk during their second annual Peace March on Jan. 13 (Allison DeAngelis/staff photo).

Bellevue students honor MLK’s messages of inclusion and unity with peace march

Cedar Crest Academy students, teachers and parents united together on Jan. 13 for their second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace March.

The march, which took place around Hidden Valley Park, aimed to spread peace and awareness throughout Bellevue.

With approximately 200 students from preschool through fourth grade marching and an additional 60 people expected, the group was given the opportunity to walk together as a community, symbolizing unity.

Amanda Gratton, a first grade teacher at Cedar Crest Academy and event coordinator of the march, said that she believes the event gave students the chance to learn what it means to be united as a group. She adds that because of the difference Martin Luther King, Jr. has made, students know that they can be friends with whoever they wish – regardless of color, race or background.

For Cedar Crest students, the march was an exciting learning opportunity to step out of the classroom and to experience something different in a fun way.

Since last year was the the school’s first year doing the march, Gratton explained that there was a disconnect about the intent of the march and some students didn’t understand the full purpose.

However, this year was different. “They’ve been given ample time to learn about MLK,” said Gratton.

The students took a writing workshop to express why Martin Luther King, Jr. is a hero to them. In addition, they have learned about the leader and what he did. While walking, students of Cedar Crest sang songs and held up signs that they made in class.