On Friday, January 27th, Gail Donaldson and I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Avenue Elementary School Pep Rally. The teacher of the classroom to whom we provided school supplies back in August invited us to attend the pep rally. Recently, this teacher shared with us that one of her students won first place in the Roxie Lancaster Children’s Holiday Writing Competition out of over 600 entries received and she believes that our investment in her classroom was one of the reasons this child had the confidence to submit her essay.
I must admit that Gail and I didn’t really know what an “elementary school” pep rally would encompass. When we arrived at Highland Avenue, students were already headed to the lunch room so we just followed suit in line and enjoyed watching the excitement of the children around us. We found a seat in the lunch room and waited for the pep rally to begin. The principal’s voice came over the microphone asking if the students were ready and they responded with a yes, then she asked are you ready again, and the children cheered as loud as they could yes (even the principal had me cheering yes).
All of the sudden, the sound system started playing and these talented amazing girls, the “Highland Avenue Pep Squad” started dancing to the music on stage. The audience was moving to the music as well, enjoying all the festivities. We watched the pep squad perform several different dances and at one point a few of the pep squad girls and a teacher started holding up signs and walked off stage holding their signs of affirmations up as high as they could. Some signs read SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT, TALENTED AND CREATIVE and the song they were dancing to was Rise Up by Andra Day, some of the lyrics are as follows:
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
I think every girl from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade at that Highland Avenue knew every word to that song. I was familiar with the song but, I must admit, I never really listened to the lyrics until I witnessed this pep squad express their hopes and dreams through their dance to this song. It was a very powerful performance and these special girls inspired me to remember that each and every day, I do not rise up for me, for my daughter, for my husband, for my family, for my job… I rise up FOR HIM! Like each and every child at Highland Avenue, all of us have a future, hopes and dreams that God has laid out for us. It is up to us to RISE UP and give everything we can give each and every day so that we can make this world a better place. Thank you, Highland Avenue Eagles for reminding me of what it feels like to look at the world as a child and not fear failure, sickness, loss, etc. No one should live in fear when we have God leading our path.
This pep rally was absolutely the best pep rally I have ever attended. It wasn’t to cheer on my favorite sports team, instead, it was children reminding others to cheer on YOURSELF and to never give up.