WOONSOCKET -- Proactive community service and attention to public safety was the order of the day when members of the St. James Baptist Church on South Main Street opened this year's celebration of the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The annual celebration in the past has included marches to honor the public demonstrations King led in the 1950s and 1960 to help end the segregation of African Americans in the south and achieve civil rights for all. There have also been readings by young people and musical programs highlighting King's work.
Kristen Rodrigues, a student at Mount St. Charles Academy, in Woonsocket, has been selected as the winner of an essay contest about the importance of music education. The contest was the mutual brainchild of Rickâ€™s Musical Instruments owner Rick Verfaille and Sue Tessier-McKenzie, advertising representative for The Call. It was conceived to counter the growing inclination of cash-strapped school districts sacrificing music programs in order to balance their budgets. Students from seven Rhode Island schools submitted essays last month for the contest.
Here is Rodriguesâ€™ winning essay: