Gallatin, TN (March 27, 2018) – In recognition of Black History Month, the young men at Volunteer Youth Academy recently took a trip to Memphis and a motel that was the location of sad event in our country’s history.
The Lorraine Motel in Memphis was the site where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Today, the Lorraine Motel is part of the National Civil Rights Museum that includes the motel, museum, and other historical building around Memphis. To prepare for the field trip, Volunteer Youth Academy students were given an introduction and overview of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was heard, read, and discussed, and students were directed to write their own “Dream” speech. Activities were done on cultural diversity, and art work was completed on prominent Civil Rights figures, such as Dr. King and Malcolm X. Students also viewed a documentary on the life and death of Dr. King.
In addition, a historical review of the Lorraine Motel was given using various illustrations and covered reasoning why Dr. King chose that motel. The students then got to experience the motel and museum first hand. Following the visit, students wrote about what they liked most about the experience. Several students commented that they enjoyed seeing the spot where Dr. King died, the bus at the museum where African Americans were forced to sit in the back, and cells that depicted where slaves were chained. One student mentioned “I learned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., got his peaceful protesting from Gandhi.”
“For a lot of these students, this was their first trip out of the immediate area,” says Dennis Triplett, II, Executive Director of Volunteer Youth Academy. “We want to provide these students with a healing environment while offering learning and growth opportunities that otherwise they may not have been given the opportunity to experience.”
Volunteer Youth Academy is a residential treatment center for adolescent males between ages 12-17 who suffer with behavioral, emotional, or mental health issues. Programs at Volunteer Youth Academy offer a confidential, caring environment that promotes crisis resolution, social skills, and personal growth for residents. For more information, please call (615) 230-2937 or visit http://www.volunteeryouthacademy.com/.