The mayor’s office put out the call summoning star power to a back-to-school pep rally earlier today. Rapper Diamond responded.
The artist, along with R&B singer Tiffani Tyree and Hot 107.9’s Jazzy McBee, joined Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis at Jean Childs Young Middle School in southwest Atlanta this afternoon.
Diamond gave a brief speech about the importance of staying in school (”Make sure you stay focused!”) and drew a raffle winner. Tyree also drew a raffle winner, and McBee presided over a dance-off where students demonstrated The Dougie.
Hizzoner was a pretty big hit with the kids.
“All your dreams are literally within your grasp,” Reed told the students. “Anything is possible. You don’t need to go to another school. You don’t need to go to another district. We’re going to get through these tough times we have been facing. We need you to be excellent.”
There was no explicit mention of the school system’s recent cheating scandal woes or school board infighting, although Reed did say, “It is time for us, the adults, to start lifting young people up.”
He also told the students they need to respect educators.
“I want you to embrace your teachers and your counselors,” he said. “Embrace their wisdom.”
The event, which began with a DJ playing songs by artists including Beyonce and Souljah Boy, was a loud and joyous occasion, but you know who really raised the roof?
Not the stars. Not the politicians. The kids themselves.
Cheerleading coach Breverly Littles had less than a week to teach her squad a new routine, but the girls jumped, stomped and shouted in perfect harmony. The happy response from the stands was deafening.
“They’ve really worked hard,” Littles said. Their classmates noticed.
In the end, it seemed that while the bold-name headliners were great, the kids cheered loudest for each other.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org