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Teachers College, Columbia University
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They Have a Dream, Too

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Trinity Faulkner
Photo by Heather Van Uxem Lewis

Trinity Faulkner

N'Deye M'Baye
Photo by Heather Van Uxem Lewis

N’Deye M’Baye and Trinity Faulkner, two first-grade students at Teachers College Community School (TCCS), were semifinalists in a recent nationwide art contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  

N’Deye and Trinity were among a group of New York City elementary student semifinalists who were recognized at an awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their teachers, friends, family, and school administrators were there to cheer them on.

“This is so exciting and wonderful for these students and our school” said Sara Malekzadeh, who teaches art at TCCS.

The projects of both TCCS students focused on the issue of littering. N’Deye’s multimedia effort was titled “My Dream is to Help the World Be a Better Place by Stopping Littering.” Trinity’s collage, done with oil pastels and textured materials, was titled “I Dream that All the Garbage…”

“I came up with the idea for my artwork because there is so much littering in my community, wrote N’Deye, who is six years old, in her artist’s statement. “My dream is for my community to stop littering. I see people throwing trash on the sidewalk and on the streets. People should throw their trash in the trash cans.

“Dr. King had his own dream. His dream was for everyone to be free and equal and for the world to be a better place. He used his words not his fists. I hope people will stop littering so our world can be a better and cleaner place.”

Trinity, who is also six, wrote, “Sometimes when I go outside it is stinky because there is so much garbage on the ground and that makes me sad. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech has taught me that we need to make the world a better place. I learned that if we start a community that cares about the world that will follow to other people. Dr. King was a loving and caring person and I want to be too.”

The co-presenter and curator of THE DREAM@50 Art Contest is Karz Productions, which created the critically acclaimed documentary feature, Legacy: Black and White in America, the third film in The Millennium Dinners documentary series.

TCCS is a public, university-assisted school for pre-K through eighth grade, run by the New York City Department of Education and formally affiliated with Teachers College. The school admitted its first class – a group of kindergarten students in fall 2011 – and this past fall moved into a permanent facility at 168 Morningside Avenue and West 126th Street. Designed with community input, the school integrates delivery of services for children and families in order to optimize educational opportunities and achievement.

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