WILMINGTON, Del - Elementary school students in Wilmington are using music to express the violence they experience daily and their hopes to change it.
A music video featuring students from Wilmington's Bancroft Elementary School has over 4,000 YouTube views and its climbing. The song is called "My City Needs Something."
"It's supposed to help people like, make this city a better place. And we're really also talking about how there's a lot of killing around here, and we really want it to stop," sixth grader Taurean Wise said.
Fifth grader James Thomas said, "When you look at someone the wrong way, they ready to fight or shoot you or something. I don't really understand it."
The young rappers from Bancroft are also in an after-school program run by the non-profit Children and Families First. In an effort to help students deal with some of the alarming things they see, they called on the Beyond The Bars Program.
Richard Watson of the Beyond The Bars Program said, "We feel like writing is therapeutic and this is a form of therapy. Some students will not have this conversation with a therapist. They will not have this conversation with a teacher or social worker. "
But the students do respond to hip hop, and along the way they learn.
"It functions as an educational program. So we use reading, writing, confidence, communication and character," Watson said.
Beyond The Bars, means bars of music and what's beyond that, is a lot of work.
They did research and investigation. They looked up words, and they had conversations with the community.
"And some people want to go to college, so I'm trying to keep people in school. So they don't end up like people outside," fifth grader Samaj said.
They all wrote their own parts and in the end they get to see it pay off in the video and the buzz surrounding it.
"I knew they had something special and I believe they understood that this was a special project," Watson added.
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