Holly Hill Elementary School Beta Club members have won a statewide contest for their song encouraging people to get vaccinated.

The school won the first-place, $10,000 prize in the “Sing it to Win It” jingle-writing contest.

“I am very proud of the kids I worked with. They worked hard for me and the other six sponsors, but when the competition came I knew we were going to win it,” Holly Hill Elementary Guidance Counselor and Beta Club sponsor Joseph Brown said.

“I played the music. The kids helped me come up with the words and that was the result,” he said.

Brown said, “Our kids had fun recording it.”

The school will use the prize winnings to help defray some of the costs for the 24 students to go to Nashville, Tennessee for the National Beta Club convention this summer.

The prize will help lower the cost for each student from $900 to $641 a child. The school district will also seek to help defray more of the trip’s costs.

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The students’ winning musical piece included the lyrics:

“COVID’s been around too long,

Has made us weak when we were strong

It’s up to you to do or not

We just ask, ‘Please get your shot!’

It shouldn’t be complicated,

We just want you vaccinated.

Take it from us kids at school,

Wearing these masks is not ‘Too Cool.’

Vaccines won’t cramp your style,

We just want to see your ‘SMILE.’”

The contest was sponsored by the S.C. Department of Education and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Schools or clubs had to compose an original song that would encourage adults and others to get vaccinated.

“The contest was brought to my attention by Mrs. Roe Hunt, our school’s SIS Op (student information system operator) who saw it on the news during our Thanksgiving break,” Brown said. “With so many of our students qualifying for the national convention in Nashville this summer, I knew winning first place would help reduce the cost for our parents and students.”

The contest was open to K-12 students throughout the state.

The jingle will be professionally recorded and played across the state.

Students who won the contest are: Amari Lawton, Madison Palmer, Harlem Brown, Jermaine Paulin, Kaleb Thompson, Aaliyah Dizzley, Jaiden Gilliard, Nathaniel Simmons, Kharysma Freeman, Zackorie Heatley, Lauren Jenkins, Haley Robinson, Ny’Asia Hart, Chanel Swint, Quentin Brown, Da’Naya Washington, Bethany Bunch, Te’lesia Simmons, Xzavier Summerson, Faith Taplin, Skylar Miller, Emma Thornley, Jermaine Pauling and Phoebe Lupton.

The Beta Club at HHE began actively participating in competitions in 1998. Holly Hill Elementary will compete with 19 other states at the national BETA event in Nashville.

HHE’s Beta club has won more than 60 state and national awards, and has been recognized as a School of Merit and a School of Distinction.

“We are so proud of our Beta members’ efforts each year as they compete against students from across the state,” Brown said. ”Our Beta sponsor team of Mr. Jason Bryant, Mrs. Miriam James, Dr. Carlos Jenkins, Ms. Chanel Murray, Mrs. Myrrh Suan and Mrs. Shelia Washington along with support from our principal, Mr. Johnnie Smith, and the entire HHE family play a role in our success,” he said.

“We can’t thank our teachers in pre-K through third grade enough for preparing our students to become Betas, and our fourth- and fifth-grade teachers for keeping them prepared during their two years as Beta members,” Brown said. “We also could not achieve our success if not for the support of our parents and community.”

To help with the club’s national convention travel expenses, reach out to Brown directly at Joseph.Brown@ocsdsc.org.

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