All this week, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Mineral Point students are taking part in “Mix It Up At Lunch,” a national campaign launched 10 years ago by Teaching Tolerance. Students will be given a Skittle and will then sit with other students holding a Skittle of the same color. As Dr. King once said,
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they haven’t communicated with each other.”
The “Mix It Up At Lunch” national campaign teaches kids to accept one another and cross social barriers during lunchtime when social divisions are most evident. It’s a “simple act with profound implications” designed to reduce prejudice.
Acceptance and tolerance have been valued traits in Mineral Point for a very long time. Pictured here is Edward Earley, who served as the Chief Engineer at the Mineral Point Zinc Company in its heyday in the 1920’s. Mr. Earley and his sister Effie were long-time residents of Mineral Point.
Effie was described as a “brilliant” student and her 1887 report card from the Mineral Point Public Schools reflects this.
Effie and Edward’s grandfather, Robert, headed one of three slave families brought to the area by Henry Dodge in 1827. Governor Dodge freed these slaves and Mr. Earley worked as the Governor’s leather worker.
You can find the histories of the Earleys and many other interesting people at the Mineral Point Archives in the newly refurbished Mineral Point Library. Thank you to the Mineral Point Library for allowing High Street Beat to use the two photos shown in this post.