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June 8, 2012 Published in Schools, Top Stories

Jefferson-Houston Students Rap On Self-Esteem

Lorraine Friedman, Jazz the Dreamdog and Mayor Bill Euille pose for a photo after the presentation. (Photo: Ryan Holtz)

By Lauren McCracken
alexandrianews.org

Today, Jefferson-Houston Elementary School students unveiled a music video entitled “Just Be Me,” with appearances by Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille. The video was made as a part of the program “Kids Empowering Kids” from the DreamDog Foundation. Jefferson-Houston students wrote, produced and starred in the video.

The music video screening took place during a school wide assembly on empowerment, in which kids from all nine grades spoke and sang about what it means to be unique and to believe in themselves. The assembly included special appearances by Jazz the DreamDog, who was also featured in the video. As part of the program, students participated in writing workshops and created motivational artwork, which they presented to the school this afternoon.

“Sending the message of empowerment to the kids is really important,” said Lorraine Friedman, founder of the DreamDog Foundation, who led the empowerment assembly. “It will carry them far.”

Students buzzed with excitement as they watched themselves sing and dance onscreen alongside Sherman and Euille. “My favorite part was working with all the younger kids,” said David Thompson, one of the video’s eighth grade student directors. “They’re learning not to follow the crowd.”

Euille does not see this video as a start of a new career. “This video motivates and inspires students. It’s about giving back, making a difference and being a leader,” said he said.

He described his experience rapping on the video as “fantastic” but said, “I’m not personally a fan of rap music. I just don’t have the rhythm for it.”

The DreamDog Foundation will upload the video on its YouTube channel.

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