What is the cornerstone of achievement in school?  Some say it starts with a healthy breakfast.  Some say it comes down to doing your homework.  Some say it is all about attendance.  Elementary school students in Oakland, California believe it is all of these things.

kids at school

Kids in attendance. Image: Shutterstock

A group of students from La Escuelita Elementary School filmed a video all about attendance, healthy food, and learning.  They created a catchy remix of the Rhianna song “Please Don’t Stop the Music.”  To make it even cooler, Marshawn Lynch, a football player for the Seattle Seahawks, got involved.  In the video, the ex-Oakland student plays a coach blowing a whistle.  He encourages the kids to get to school.

The video starts out with a shot of kids in a classroom being asked to write an essay about what they want to be when they grow up.  One of the kids starts to daydream, and that’s when things start to get fun.  The kids imagine all of the professions they might be in some day.  These include being an astronaut, lawyer, president, and doctor.

The main message is that it’s important to come to school if you want to achieve your dreams.  If you don’t come, you can’t learn, and you fall behind.  Showing up, they imply, is half the battle.

Most of us have heard about all the failing schools in Oakland.  Yet, here’s a shining example of how to engage students and get them interested in school.  Adults usually do a lot of talking.  Yet, this video only has two adults in it.  The rest is all kids.

school bell

Class is starting. Image: Shutterstock

A lot of people are saying we should just cut the arts, music and extracurricular activities.  However, that is exactly the opposite of what kids are saying.  They are asking us to, please save these programs.  For many, having those is the only reason they come to school.

These kids are saying, hey, we want to show you what we can do.  Undoubtedly they had an adult directing the video(Nina Reves Rosenberg), but still…doesn’t it kind of make coming to school look cool?