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Clouds project depicts vision of local youth

“My dream is for people to be kind to each other.”

“I try to treat all people equally with respect.”

“I dream that people with different skin colors are friends.”

Clouds covered the walls of the Oxford Activity Center Monday. The colorful drawings — most with words explaining a dream, hope or wish written inside the shape of a cloud — floated behind the speakers who led the Lafayette-Oxford-University Martin Luther King Day of Service events inside.

The cloud project was organized by AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers Sara Baker and Jason Duffy, both 22.

Baker, a Pascagoula native, said she and Duffy, who is from Gautier, took the project to Oxford University School, Oxford Elementary, Lafayette Elementary and Bramlett Elementary schools.

“We went into the schools in the LOU community and brought these little art projects for the kids that related to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” Baker said. “These are the kids’ representations of their dreams and how they see the world as a better place.”

Baker said some of the drawings conveyed the idea of friendship that crosses racial boundaries.

Others were very specific. One child wrote that her dream was that “no one would have any more nightmares.”

Others dreams included:

“I dream to be kind to others.”

“I dream that the world will be safe.”

“I dream that everyone in the world will be kind to each other, and have good integrity and respect to each other, and listen to their parents, and there will be no more orphans.”

“My dream is for everyone to have an electric car. If no one has a oil car, then no more pollution. No more pollution means less global warmings. Less global warmings means a longer life. I don’t know about you, but I want a longer life.”

“No bullies.”

“Make friends and be nice.”

“Helping people get up (who fell).”

“I have a dream that everyone loves each other and be nice.”

“I wish people won’t make fun of people.”

“I want to pay no money.”

“Hopefully, they took the time to think about how to make the world a better place,” said Baker. “That’s really what the Dream speech is about.”

Duffy said children in kindergarten through sixth grade participated.

“Teachers could register their classrooms to participate, and students filled out a bubble of their dream for the world,” he said. “I hope they learned more about Dr. King, what he stood for and where he stands in our culture and history.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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