In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, volunteers constructed a “dream room” at Calvary Christian Academy as a space for students to study, be creative and dream about their future.
“It was very fitting to construct a room for kids to dream on MLK Day,” said Adrian Spencer, a community support specialist at Riverworks Development Corporation. Spencer, who has experience in construction management, supervised the project.
Volunteers hope the Montessori “learn by doing” approach will encourage children to follow their dream and be doctors, lawyers or anything they want to be.
“We were all really handy and liked the arts,” said Hilary Wilson, community engagement specialist for the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative. “We were inspired by the room and the atrium, so the rest came naturally.”
One of the room’s focal points is a teepee where children can go to read. Handprints of each student and staff member at Calvary Christian Academy, 510 E. Burleigh St., adorn the canvas.
The remodeling was funded with donations from Calvary, Home Depot and Riverworks Development Organization.
Later the same evening, Calvary Christian Academy students and local poets such as Kwabena Nixon celebrated the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the new space through poetry. Approximately 60 people attended the celebration, about half students at the school.
“We wanted to recognize the community,” said Jasmine Taylor, a UW-Milwaukee student who works part time at LISC. “What better way to do that than with poets?” Taylor’s first job was to recruit local poets for the event. She said she found most through Facebook and word-of-mouth.
Ernice Tucker, who has nieces and nephews at Calvary, raved about the celebration’s overarching message: “It doesn’t matter where we come from; it’s about where we’re going. Everyone has to start somewhere.”
And in a way, that’s what the dream room will be — a place to start somewhere.