Ross School Celebrates the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In commemoration of the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students at the Lower and Upper School campuses spent the day celebrating his work and legacy.

The morning began at the Upper School with a rousing performance by Genesis Ensemble, a gospel choir comprising members of the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton and the Old Ship of Zion Church in Center Moriches. They sang a series of hymns to represent the faith that guided Dr. King’s work. The jovial atmosphere inspired a group of students to join the choir on stage to sing and dance with them.


Special guest Rev. Meredith Payton, a Connecticut-based minister whose organization Christian Community Outreach Ministries has assisted more than 120,000 people in need, presented a speech titled “Striving for Greatness.” He encouraged students to aspire to lives of impact, as Dr. King did, reminding them of Dr. King’s adage, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things greatly.”

“Greatness is more than just ordinary,” Rev. Payton said. “If you can strive for greatness . . . then you will one day be placed on a mantel for all to admire, and there will be a story that can perpetuate your legacy.”


At the Lower School campus, students began their day preparing to share what they had studied in the time leading up to MLK Day at an assembly. After enjoying the music of the Genesis Ensemble, the students presented their projects to a crowd made up of their peers, parents, and prospective families touring the Lower School campus.


Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students sang “This Little Light of Mine” and directed a video in which they recounted ways to be kinder to one another. First and second grade students displayed posters bearing drawings of Dr. King and a selection of core values that make one a stronger leader. They also created a peace sign from the tracings of their own hands, signifying unity.

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Grades 3 and 4 studied the qualities of a great leader, and several students presented a speech on behalf of their grade. In grades 5 and 6, students participated in a morning of service, during which they made scarves, wrote notes of gratitude, and assembled care packages that will be donated to a nearby homeless shelter.

“Our school’s motto is ‘Know thyself in order to serve,’ and it’s one of the most profound parts of our mission,” said Bryan Rosenberg, assistant head of Ross Lower School. “The students did a great job of highlighting the school’s ethos of service. . . . It has been a great morning.”

To see photos from events at our Upper and Lower School campuses, please click here.