A 15-year fight and 6 million signatures led to the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federally recognized holiday in 1983. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a minister, social activist, husband, and father who played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement. MLK Day is a day to honor his work and commit to making it a “day on, not a day off.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Anybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need to have a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

What better way to honor the legacy of Dr. King’s work and words than to serve? The opportunities are endless, and it is a beautiful way to connect and reflect with your children and others in the spirit of giving back to and bettering your community—all things that were very important to Dr. King.

How have you as a family honored Martin Luther King Day?

Would you like to try something different this year, or do you have a tradition that you and your family participate in? There are many opportunities to connect with your children and family to honor the legacy and service of Dr. King.

Recommended Resources:

Volunteer and Virtual Opportunities

Children & Young Adult Books

  • Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, by Lisbeth Kaiser
  • Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport
  • Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, by Bonnie Bader
  • I Am Martin Luther King, Jr., by Brad Meltzer
  • We March, by Shane W. Evans
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
  • March Trilogy, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
  • We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, by Cynthia Levinson
  • The Dream Journal, Guided By the Words of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin, by James L. Swanson