Manatee County students celebrate MLK day in Atlanta

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BRADENTON, FL--- Students from Orange Ridge Bullock Elementary are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in a big way.

"I'm so very excited I don't think I can get happier than this," said Kendrick. He's one of 25 fifth graders from the school traveling to Atlanta to visit national historic sites that honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We're going to visit, Dr. King's house, his grave," added Kendrick.

The list of activities go on to include the Martin Luther King Museum as well as his place of birth. The trip is designed to give the children a hands on look at struggle for civil rights, a lesson many of the students say they understand.

"If it wasn't for Martin Luther King I wouldn't be here, me and my friends wouldn't be here together, I would be somewhere else separated from them and I wouldn't like that." said Alicia another student going on the trip.

But the school's principal Marybeth Mason says a lesson in peace and equality is just part of their mission.

"It truly is an opportunity that most of these kids would not have the opportunity to do without the school," added Mason.

Bullock is a title one school which means many of their students are from from homes with incomes below the poverty line.  So, for some students, this isn't a trip they're taking for granted.

"It's my first time coming out of Bradenton, out of Florida, and Im going visit one of my favorite famous people," said fifth grader Jakayla.

The trip is being paid for though a grant from State College of Florida. Noris Fanning is the teacher who applied for the grant and she said her dream was to inspire the majority minority student body that they can accomplish great things.

"I wanted to expose our students especially our english language speakers to a variety of things that the world the world can offer them," added Noris.