Providence Saint Mel in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood once again held classes Monday.
Honoring Doctor Martin Luther King Junior by showing up for school is a longstanding tradition at Providence Saint Mel.
"Dr. King was a teacher, and I don't think you celebrate a teacher by closing schools," said Paul Adams, Providence St. Mel president.
Instead of a day off, students and staff, even parents, take this day to celebrate Doctor King's message of hard work, dedication and making a difference. Monday's assembly also included an influential keynote speaker - Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court Dorothy Brown. She emphasized how Martin Luther King Junior influenced her to follow her dreams and make a difference.
"In my journey to become the first African American clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, one of the largest unified court systems in the world, many times I had to rely on that type of faith," said Brown.
Students say they understand the message and wanted to be there.
"We still have work to do. When you're not in school on this day, you forget what Martin Luther King did and all of his work," said Jordyn Harrison, senior.
"It sets us apart from other schools in the city because we're learning something while they are at home asleep or at the mall or something. Each year we get to learn something different," said Antasia Glenn, junior.