Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 | 1:03 p.m.
On the eve of Tuesday's presidential inauguration, children had a chance to learn about civil rights and equality today at a Martin Luther King Day arts and crafts event at the Barnes & Noble at the Crossroads Commons shopping center near Summerlin.
Copies of King's "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered 45 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., were provided along with word searches, trivia games and books about King's life. There were also autobiographical pieces about President-elect Barack Obama available for reading.
"It's a good chance for kids to learn about an important figure in American history, especially with the inauguration coming up tomorrow," said event coordinator Amy Guillot of Barnes & Noble. "It's important for them to see the progress that we made from when Dr. King was alive until now."
Natalie Larson of Summerlin was with her two children, 3-year-old Joshua and 4-year-old Lacey, helping them with trivia games and coloring books.
"I think it's neat to have Martin Luther King Day so close to the inauguration of our first African-American president," Larson said. "It's a nice reminder of how fortunate we are in this country."
Lacey was focused on her word search, finding phrases like "justice," "peace" and "civil rights."
"Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize," Larson said to her daughter. "Peace is a good thing, right?"
Summerlin resident VeraLynn Orewyler also came with her daughter.
"I've noticed more people paying attention to the inauguration, regardless of what side you're on," Orewyler said. "It's a historic event."
Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.