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Booker Middle VPA Program Students Dream of “One Day

by Christine Hopkins, VPA Coordinator at Booker Middle School

SARASOTA COUNTY, January 25, 2021 – Why are the arts important? Why, in an age of standardized tests and virtual learning, would a middle school offer arts programming? The Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) program, consisting of over 300 students, at Booker Middle School can answer that exact question with a recent video release. The video – featuring work and students from every VPA program at Booker Middle – is a testament to community, empathy, and togetherness — all things that we so crave right now in this digital age.

Booker Middle School Modern Band teacher, Carlos Silva, led this project and reflected on the experience: “I had worked on a video like this last year with my Modern Band students and I wanted to do it again but this time on a larger scale. I started talking to the VPA teachers and everyone came on board; they started sending me pictures, videos, poems, art, and more. It was new territory and a great lesson for my students to try new things. Since we can’t do a concert, we were learning about sound recordings and recording sessions in a recording studio. The song ‘One Day’ by Matisyahu was chosen by the students and I for its message of unity and positivity. Truly, this is the future. These kids are going to be our leaders one day and we are teaching them how to make music together, experience life together, and we’re all doing it with a positive message.”

Eighth grade student Mackiyla Kackley shared: “The song’s lyrics are really beautiful. Working together and uniting, especially during the COVID pandemic, was really special. We all still had to wear our masks but being safely together to play the song was fun. It just had a lot of meaning in a lot of different ways.”

Sixth grade student Ezra Lerario said: “The song said stop fighting and bring peace, which is really important. What’s also cool is that we learned an important message and we also learned skills that will help us in the real world. We learned how to play instruments, make a music video, and skills that will help us get a job someday. We just learned a whole lot during this project.”

To see the “One Day” video, go to

For more information, please contact Booker Middle School’s Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator, Christine Hopkins, at