Apple Mlk Day Feature 21 Lang 4Source: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has put a spotlight on Mike Lang, a teacher in Las Vegas.
  • The feature highlights Lang's program that focuses on Martin Luther King Jr. and public service.

In a press release on its Newsroom, Apple is highlighting Mike Lang, an Apple Distinguished Educator who is encouraging his students to be civil servants and activists in Las Vegas.

"My hope for all my students is that they see and consider themselves as citizens of the world who are responsible for helping others be successful," Lang says. This month, Lang initiated a three-part project with his kindergarten and first grade students to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and instill a sense of civic duty in them. "That's the ultimate goal: We want people who are going to be informed, passionate, patriotic in the true sense of that word, and who are going to be empathetic."

The first step in his program is to have the kids read Christian Robinson's "You Matter" in order to show them that they all matter.

"Kids have to have a level of self-esteem to believe that their point of view matters, their story matters, their opinions matter, and their ideas matter," he says. "It's important for students to understand they have inherent power just because they are themselves."

Apple Mlk Day Feature 21 Ipad LessonSource: Apple

Students in the program use the iPad to create stories of themselves, their family, and their neighborhoods. They'll also learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and compare their lives to the civil rights leader. After both of these steps, they'll create a book that talks about both of the previous topics as well as how they can be of service to their community and share it with community organizers and legislators in Las Vegas.

Lang hopes that the project helps students understand that it is important to take care of themselves and those around them.

"Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of striving to be excellent, striving to do what's right, and striving to be fair goes beyond race. It's economics and empathy, and this idea of solidarity with all human beings," says Lang. "My hope is that my students come to the realization that there is a basic humanity that we need to always be beholden to, not only within their class, not only within their school, but within their community, their city, their country, and the world."

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