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With a huge photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the backdrop, Delaney Gardner shared her own dream for change.
Gardner, a third-grader at Discovery School, hopes for the day when there will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Her grandmother has the disease, and Gardner doesn't want anyone else to experience what she has to - having a loved one who can't remember your name.
"It makes me feel sad for her not to know much," said Gardner, who wants to study medicine to help find a cure for the disease.
Gardner and the rest of her classmates learned about King's legacy and were asked to write their own "I Have a Dream" speeches.
On Thursday, the students read their speeches for their class and a visiting second-grade class.
Meredith Jenkins, the third-grade teacher at Discovery, had talked to the class about King's work as a civil rights activist. The class watched a video of King's historic 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech and used it as a model for their own personal addresses.
Some of the students said they hope for a cleaner environment.
Others wished for world peace.
Ariana Ealey wants to help end famine in Africa.
Jamias Shropshire and Teddy Norrell each hope for a cure for cancer.
Matthew Stogner wrote about animal cruelty.
He said he wants to become a lawmaker who can help enforce stricter policies that can better protect animals and their environments.
"We need to stop killing animals and destroying their homes because I like animals," Stogner said. "I don't want any of them to become extinct."
More than 10 other students had dreams they shared for the class.
Jenkins said she was impressed with the speeches the group produced. Many were creative and others connected to something personal to them, she said.
"I feel like every year you want to take a new spin on it (King's commemoration)," Jenkins said. "How they could use that rhetoric and speak to others would be a great thing. It was neat for them to realize that they can change the world and be a voice."
Skylar Barton, who wants everyone to treat people kindly, said she couldn't image living in a time where racial inequality and discrimination were paramount.
"Every year we learn about him (King), but this was more fun, because we got to write our own speeches," she said.
Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or firstname.lastname@example.org