Each year, the New York State Education Department honors Dr. King's memory by inviting schools to submit student art and essays that reflect Dr. King's teaching. Schools submitted original artwork illustrating Dr. King's Six Principles and Steps of Nonviolence or essays celebrating Dr. King's birthday.
- To understand that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day commemorates the birthday of Dr. King and reminds all Americans of his dreams and goals for this nation
- To have the opportunity to take part in the celebration of Dr. King's birthday
- To reflect on ways to celebrate Dr. King's birthday and legacy in everyday life
- To have the opportunity to learn about the social, political and economic factors that contributed to the civil rights movement
- To learn about the philosophy of nonviolence as practiced by Dr. King and to understand its relevance for today's society
- To appreciate and respect the contributions and rights of others without regard to the similarities or differences they may present