Kid's museum celebrates MLK Jr. Day

A man who had a federal holiday established in his name in the 1990s will be the reason the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada is open on Monday, a day it's typically closed.

A Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the museum and will include a reading of a poem called "The Crayon Box that Talked," by Shane DeRolf.

"What happens in this poem is the red crayon doesn't like the yellow or the blue crayon and the blue crayon doesn't like the yellow or red crayon," said Ken Beaton, museum director. "Nobody likes anybody in this crayon box."

Eventually, the different crayons create a beautiful portrait together, teaching the lesson that while crayons are different, they accomplish more as a unit.

"It's a nice way of teaching diversity," Beaton said. "It's really great as far as teaching that we're different, but at the same time that we're different, we're all the same."

Frieda Ford, a museum board member will have a super-sized crayon box set up at the museum for children to put in crayons they decorate.

"Martin Luther King was a spokesman for his time and he brought people together and made us all realize that we are one and the same," she said. "He really made great changes."

King, who was born in 1929, made a name for himself in 1955 by organizing a boycot of the segregated bus system in Montgomery, Ala.

In 1963, he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Capital in Washington, D.C., in front of 200,000 people.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 and assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968, at the age of 39, while attending a garbage collectors strike.

On Monday, children at the museum will also hear King's "I Have a Dream" speech and write about their own dreams. By coming to the museum, children find out why they have off from school and who the holiday honors, Beaton said.

"I do think that it's good for the children's museum to be doing this, to reinforce diversity," he said. "There's a whole world out there and I feel we ought to get along as best as possible."

Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.


What: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday. With paid admission, free crafts from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, 813 N. Carson St.

Call: 884-2226

Cost: 2 and under, free; 3-13, $3; 14 and over, $5.


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