"We're here to celebrate his life and to learn from his life be motivated by what he's done," Paul Adams, president at Providence St. Mel School, said.
Providence has used the national holiday to teach students about Martin Luther King Junior for decades.
"Dr. King wanted for us to go to school together, and we're going to school together and learning about him. It's his day," Brenna Goliath, 5th grader, said.
This year, students also watched the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama, who was sworn into his second term in office on Martin Luther King Day.
The Rev. Corey Brooks, known as the Rooftop Pastor, also spoke to the children.
"If you take a stand and believe and have courage that things can happen, things can change. If I got that across, it was worth it," Pastor Brooks said.
"I left the assembly very inspired to take a stand, especially in the community that I live in with my peers," Bernard Lilly, junior, said.
"We can all make a difference, as Dr. King said, we can all be great if we all serve," Adams said.