daisy bates day KATV

It's Daisy Bates Day here in the state and Daisy Bates Elementary chose to honor the civil rights activist in their own way.

While the school is no stranger to the story of Daisy Gatson Bates, today they had the chance to dig deeper into how her legacy helped shape the world around us.

Sybil Hampton, who was personally mentored by Bates, shared with students what the icon was like.

"She was a vibrant, vivacious, gracious, thoughtful person, and this building is a building that the young people who are here have the opportunity to grow in grace. And everything about this building I think exudes the spirit of Daisy Gatson Bates," Hampton said.

Hampton was part of the second wave of students to integrate Little Rock Central High in 1959. She spoke of Bates being a crucial part of helping her become who she is today.

"Mrs. Bates was always in my life and then I had the opportunity to attend Central High School and she was in my life in a new and better way," Hampton said.

Hampton reflected on persevering through racial setbacks to become the first black graduate to complete all three years at Central in 1962, then eventually launching her careers in education administration, philanthropy, and political advising.

"Adversity is actually a training ground for going higher, doing better, and that we all can expect that forces of darkness will surround us but we also ought to know that I am a living example of the fact that there is light and I keep pressing on toward the light and I encourage others to press toward the light," Hampton said.

The rest of the event included songs and presentations showing how Bates is still impacting the lives of young people, something the staff believes is of high value.

"I think it's very important because Daisy Bates played a major part of history not just black history but Arkansas," Patrick Bean said.

Daisy Bates Elementary Principal, Masako Christian, also weighed in on the big celebration.

"I'm excited that they were able to hear a part of the rich history of Daisy Bates Elementary School... Why we talk about elevating her excellence every single day... Why they have that strong motto about being somebody and deserving the best education that they can get. And being mighty tigers... That's carrying on the legacy but for them to hear that and to be able to speak that... See I, speak it... Then they can believe it and they can live it," Christian said.

The students ended with a chant stating "I am somebody. I was somebody when I came and I will be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful, I am strong, I deserve the best education I can get here. I am a mighty tiger hear me roar."

And a song stating, "Someday you'll be great." A reminder that they too can make their mark in the world like Daisy Gatson Bates.

Daisy Bates Elementary says they will continue to use Daisy as an example to strive for success not only today but every day.