HomeE/M SentinelE/M Sentinel NewsEdison school visitor sings against bullying

Edison school visitor sings against bullying

BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

EDISON — There was singing, jumping, clapping, dancing and high-fiving as “Mr. Ray” paid a visit to John Marshall Elementary School last week with an important message.

Children’s musician Ray Anderson, whose stage name is Mr. Ray, told the students during his visit on Feb. 26 that his new music project is focused on anti-bullying and called “No Room For Bullies.”

The project, dedicated to educators and parents, is a compilation of 17 songs about learning and character-building for the classroom and home.

“When I was growing up, the kids used to make fun of me because of my skinny size,” he said.

Mr. Ray sang a song called “Different” which celebrates all differences and having no judgements.

“I’m not like you … it’s ok for two of us to be part of this beautiful day,” he sang

The lyrics continue on “All I see is your heart you wear … the way you treat me is all I care about.”

Principal Ami Hoffman said the 715 or so students from kindergarten to fifth-grade are currently focused on responsibility as part of the six pillars of character, which also include trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Mr. Ray also sang a song about this world has no room for bullies, which teaches children that it is not right to tease anybody.

He sang music about respect, responsibility, and about children sticking together as they walk home whether it is from school or some place else.

“Never walk alone,” he said. Mr. Ray told the students that his daughter is currently in fifth-grade and has expressed that she wants to walk alone.

Mr. Ray also sang his very first popular children’s song about a young boy named “Roy G. Biv” about the colors of the rainbow.

Hoffman said with Read Across America kicking off this coming week, she had a special request for Mr. Ray to sing about the importance of reading.

Millions of students nationwide participate in the National Education Association Read Across America reading program, which celebrates reading and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.

Mr. Ray said it is important for people to love what they do. He told the students that his older cousin introduced him to the English rock band “The Beatles” and he knew from that day on he wanted to become a musician.

His 22-year career has been filled with success. Mr. Ray has sold more than 100,000 CD’s of children’s albums and on March 19, 2009, he was invited to sing at the United Nations in New York City for an event called “A Season for Non-Violence.”

Even though it was Mr. Ray’s first visit to John Marshall, the students were familiar with his music and sang along.

Hoffman said Mr. Ray’s visit was funded and organized by the school’s Parent Teacher Association.

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