Fayetteville school students make 'stay in school' hip-hop videos

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Nine-year-old Carmen Fisher said making a music video is "cool."

"It was fun and easy," said Fisher, who she said liked singing with her friends best.

Students from elementary, middle, and high schools in Cumberland County all made music videos. They sang and danced to various tunes from "Frozen," "The Lego Movie," and "Lil' John."

"The message was to stay in school," said 9-year-old Westarea student Trent Davis. "If you want to stay in school and graduate, then you can do anything with your life."

Tuesday afternoon, Cumberland County school officials handed out top honors for the most liked videos. Westarea Elementary School won first place. South View Middle School and A.B.Wilkins High School also won.

Teachers and volunteers supplied the expertise, and the students supplied the energy.

"We really wanted to express the importance of staying in school in a fun way," said volunteer Tai Stamp. "So the kids catch on and get excited about education."

School Superintendent Dr. Frank Till said Cumberland County's drop-out rate is below the state average thanks in part he said to drop-out prevention programs like the students' videos.

"It's extremely positive because young people can talk in a way that other young people understand, and this message gets through," said Till. "Where we come across as preaching, young people come across as caring."

This is the second year the school system has sponsored a county-wide hip-hop video competition.

Westarea Elementary School Principal Zakiyyah Backman said she is proud of her student's efforts.

"We know that they will not only achieve higher heights, but we know they are going to college and that's the standard for our boys and girls," said Backman.

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