Tucked into the memory of Cody Tucker, 12, is an array of facts about civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Cody, a sixth-grade Carson Middle School student, recited some of those facts Monday at the King exhibit at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada.
"He was the leader of the civil-rights movement. When he was little, his best friend moved away because he was white and his mother didn't like him playing with Martin. He got shot while giving a speech. He was a really great man and a really great leader."
He looked up.
"I may have a test on this tomorrow. I'm not sure."
Tucker was at the museum on Monday along with his sister, Makenzie, 6; brother Gehrig, 9; and best friend, Lisa Yamamoto, 11. He came because he wanted to read Shane DeRolf's poem, "The Crayon Box That Talked," which teaches about accepting differences.
"It explains that everybody's different, but everybody can learn to like each other," he said.
Cody pointed to a super-size paper crayon he had decorated with a drawing of King giving a speech. The crayon rested with 26 others in a huge paper box hung from the front of the stage.
"A lot of the children aren't able to understand who King was," said Freida Ford, a board member of the museum. "But the crayon box they can relate to."
The museum was full of children enjoying the exhibits. Cody's friend, Lisa, also a sixth-grader at Carson Middle School, took a few minutes to reflect on King's life and the reason she had a day off from school.
"I know that Martin Luther King made a lot of changes for racism so that everybody would be equal," she said. "I think it was important that he did that."
Jackie Rombardo brought her children Rachel, 5, and Cade, 3, to the museum to receive some exposure to King.
"I think it's important to remember what he did to change this country," she said. "I think they need to learn that."
Two-year-old Katie Hale was busy coloring at one of the tables at the King exhibit. Then she was up and climbing the stairs.
"This is just a good place to come," her dad, Jeff Hale, said. "The kids kind of entertain themselves."
Looking over at Katie playing on the steps, he smiled: "I think we'll make it until about nap time."
Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
• "Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King," by Jean Marzollo
• "A Picture Book of Martin Luther King," by David Adler
• "Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King," by Doreen Rappaport