Kid’s Craic – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Kid’s Craic: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
By Megan Lardie

 We may all have come on different ships,
 but we’re in the same boat now
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

In January, we get a day off school to honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr had a dream that we would all live in a world where everyone would be treated equally, everyone would be treated the same and with kindness.

He fought for civil rights. Every citizen in the United States is protected by civil rights. This means that no matter what your race, gender, religion, age, or if you have a disability, you have the same rights as everyone else in the country. Some examples of these civil rights are the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, the right to a public education, and the right to use public facilities.

Martin Luther King Jr believed in peaceful protests and demonstrations. He felt the best way to be heard would be through non-violent protesting and refusing to obey an unjust law. He inspired so many by sharing his love and understanding instead of anger and violence. By only using his voice, he managed to change our society and make it better for everyone. His goal was to end racism and segregation, but he also helped the poor and underprivileged.

No Irish Need Apply
Irish immigrants faced some of the same discrimination when they arrived in the United States back in the 1800s, way before Martin Luther King Jr’s time. Most of the American population did not like the Irish immigrants. Many business owners had signs saying, “No Irish Need Apply.”

Americans and other immigrants looked down on the Irish for their poor living conditions. Americans did not accommodate the Irish customs or rituals. Most Irish were Catholics, and, in the U.S., most people were Protestant.

There were some Catholics in the U.S., and they were mostly from the rich upper class, so they turned their noses up at the poor Irish immigrants. It was hard for the Irish to get good paying jobs and were forced into accepting low paying and dangerous jobs.

Being Treated Fairly
Both the Irish and African Americans have had challenges being treated equally in the United States. Even though there are laws that are supposed to make everything equal, things are not always equal. The Irish seem to be treated more fairly now, but there are other races and nationalities who are still struggling with discrimination and inequality today.

The Statue of Liberty welcomes all to our shores with her torch with the hopes and dreams for a better life in America. How can you treat people with kindness to make our country a better place for everyone?

Kids in the Kitchen
Simple Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie)

Serves about four. Perfect for a cold winter night!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef (for authentic Shepherd’s Pie, use ground lamb instead of beef)
  • 1 medium to large onion, diced
  • Water
  • 1 tsp beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp Bistro granules or 1 tsp of flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mashed potatoes (made w butter and half and half.

Optional: shredded cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC).
  • Sauté the diced onion for a few minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
    Keep covered for a few more minutes and continue to cook.
  • Once the onion is starting to brown, add the ground meat. Stir often and continue to cook until the liquid starts to dry. (If using flour, add it now.)
  • Add enough water, just to almost cover the ingredients, and simmer. At this point, add about 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp beef bouillon, 1 tbsp Bisto granules, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce and some ground black pepper to taste.
  • Continue to simmer the meat over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, then taste. If needed, add more salt or Bisto, then remove from heat.
  • Ladle the beef and gravy into oven safe large dish. Spoon (or pipe) mashed potatoes onto each dish to cover completely.
  • Place dish onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbly and the potatoes are browned a little, approximately 25-30 minutes. You can even sprinkle some shredded Cheddar cheese on top before baking!

Literature Corner
Let the Children March
by Monica Clark-Robinson

In 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their rights, after hearing Martin Luther King Jr speak. They protested segregation and used their voices to help change the world. This book helps children visualize what happened during this historic event and understand how much courage it takes to stand up for what is right. For ages 5-9, 40 pages.

The Watson’s Go to Birmingham
by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watson family decides to take a road trip from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit Grandma and leave the oldest child to live with her. They have no idea they are heading toward one of the darkest moments in American history. Through it all, their journey reminds us that laughter and family can help us get through our toughest times. For ages 9-11, 210 pages.

Lardie’s Laughs

  1. What is a snow man’s favorite drink?
  2. Iced tea
  3. What did the icy road say to the car?
  4. Want to go for a spin?
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