A song can make you happy. A song can make you sad.
But for Milaca third-grader Jenaya Gerrard, a song was an opportunity to tell the students at Milaca Elementary how impressed she was with their work ethic.
Jenaya penned a song with a little help from her father George called “We Do Our Best.”
The song talks about building respect, showing responsibility, hard work, learning to read, making friends and having fun — all things Jenaya has experienced in her four years as a student at the elementary school.
George Gerrard recalls the evening his daughter wrote the song.
“She wanted to write a song that night,” Gerrard said.
Her mother suggested she write a song for their school.
“She put the words to paper and then I got my guitar out,” Gerrard said, and the piece came together.
Jenaya then shared her song with a good friend, Jada. The two spent time together practicing singing the song. Then one day Jenaya’s mom, Milaca special education teacher Debi Gerrard, mentioned the song to elementary school Principal Steve Voshell.
“I talked to Mr. Voshell, and he asked me about the song,” Jenaya said.
It wasn’t long after that Voshell asked Jenaya if she would sing the song at a pep fest that kicked off the school’s annual reading program.
At the recent pep fest, a group of teachers sung a handful of parodies of current songs based on reading. A group of sixth-graders then took to the gym floor to lead students in more song. Then came Jenaya’s big moment.
She and Jada were called from the gym’s bleachers and they took their places in front of the sixth-graders, who would become Jenaya and Jada’s backup singers.
A projector provided the words on the gymnasium wall, and before long hundreds of Milaca students were belting out “We Do Our Best at Milaca Elementary.”
Jenaya admitted she was a little scared getting up in front of the whole school to sing — but she and her song were a big hit.
Jenaya said she wrote one song prior to “We Do Our Best” and has plans to continue her songwriting career.
“I like writing songs and making new ones,” she said.