TIME WAS: Homestead Elementary students write award-winning rap

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 11:01
  • From the Sept. 10, 1987 edition of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star

Homestead students’ rap gains national prize

A group of Homestead Elementary fifth-graders were celebrating after their rap placed in the top 10 in a national “We the People” essay contest.

According to a front-page story in the Sept. 10, 1987 edition of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star by reporter Sherri Spangler, the students decided to submit their entry as a rap when they noticed the essay contest put no rules on the format.

“We scratched our heads, stroked our chins, paced the floor, and repeated, ‘What the Constitution means to me’ over and over,” teacher Natascha Ginsburg told the Star. “From the brainstorming burst the natural rhythym of a rap. We weren’t exactly all dancing around the room, but chairs were rocking as ‘The Constitution Rap’ was born.”

The story noted the students won the state competition and finished in the top 10 nationally, but their video wasn’t among the top six selected to play on national TV. For placing in the top 10, the students received a $150 prize.

Students included Erin Wheeler, Amy Morgan, Dana Minor, Shauna Brasgalla, Cherie Theobold, Angela Hansen, Shane Howard, Daniel Patchin, Anesha Floyd, Aayric Hooten, Fred Jackson, Brock Williams, Eric Johnson, Tony Neville, Stephen Nuss, Sam Beckham, Mathew Cowles, Gordy Banfield, Brandon Groth, Reggie Wells, Whitney Waisanen, Jennifer Forres and Erin Bost.

The story also included a copy of the students’ award-winning rap:

What the Constitution means to me/is living in a land where all are free/where the Bill of Rights gives a guarantee/of religious freedom for you and me/and I can speak out publicly/to…all the people

What the Constitution means to me/it insures there’ll be no slavery/in a land of equal opportunity/where the Bill of Rights is the key/to privacy and liberty for…all the people

What the Constitution means to me/is that I can be what I want to be/and join in a community/where people join in a community/where people bear arms respectfully/and live together in harmony/with…all the people

Now playing:

Playing at the Valley River Cinema the week of Sept. 10, 1987: 4th Protocol, House II, Born in East L.A., Dirty Dancing, Robocop, Stakeout, The Lost Boys, and The Big Easy.

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