Elementary Students Record Their Own CD; Fernandina: Music Stresses Helping

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

The students of Southside Elementary School now are bona fide recording artists.

The 400 pre-kindergarten through first-grade students have recorded a three-song CD that each student -- and future students at the school -- will receive, thanks to a North East Florida Education Consortium grant.

The songs, which include Southside's school song, promote friendship, caring, helping, sharing and learning. Nassau County teachers composed the songs, which students sing every day in school.

A first-grade student at Southside, Coral Wilcox, 6, said she's excited to hear the CD.

"I always wanted a CD of my own," Coral said. "I like to sing."

Seven-year-old Theo White, Coral's classmate, agrees.

"I want to listen to myself and see how it sounds," Theo said. "I want to be a rock star."

"All year they've heard about this," said teacher Dianne Febles, who co-authored the grant application. "It started as one song, then it just mushroomed."

Febles heads the Exceptional Student Education program in Nassau County. She's based at Southside Elementary.

At Southside, all students participate in the school's inclusion program, which exposes them to students with severe disabilities. Students visit Febles' class at least once a week so that students with disabilities can interact with other students.

Two of the songs on the CD emphasize the importance of helping children with disabilities using a hand-over-hand technique.

School music teacher Gail McCamy wrote Hand Over Hand to teach students how to assist partners with disabilities through learning games. …