Devers K-8 students handed tambourines and maracas to York City School Board members and encouraged the crowd to get up and dance.

The 10 students - in grades 6, 7, and 8 - sang "Follow Your Heart," a song they created to demonstrate their determination to succeed despite financial and academic challenges within the district.

The students also played various instruments, including a guitar, keyboard, saxophones, a cello and violins.

They received a standing ovation for their performance at the start of the board's regular meeting Wednesday.

Prior to the students' presentation, Devers eighth-grader Zahid Hasan told the board that the students worked hard daily to play together and create the song.

He told the board that even though the district has financial problems, the students need the music program to help them improve their talent.

Zahid also said attention should be given to the district's accomplishments and to students who are not only proud of their district, but grateful for the teachers and other staff who encourage them to accomplish their dreams.

"The district may be in some trouble, but we still have talent," said Zahid, who plays the saxophone. "There are some students who don't do the right thing, but there are many who do."

After the presentation, board member Diane Glover Brown, asked the students to be the opening performers at the district's Education First Parade and Rally, which begins at 1 p.m.


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Saturday, April 27, with a parade from Small Athletic Field to Penn Park.

Deborah Wortham, the district's superintendent, praised the students for their hard work musically and academically. She also gave them York Revolution Baseball family fun day packets that include free tickets to a game of their choice.

Wortham said the Devers students' performance would be featured on the district's "Morning Message" program for all students to see.

She also promised them the district will always have a music program with the commitment to grow it.

"Your song belongs in (the district)," Wortham said. "Follow your heart. Thank you. I love you so much."

The York City School District's Education First Parade And Rally begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27, with a parade from Small Athletic Field to Penn Park, across from William Penn Senior High School.

The event is sponsored by Parent Advocates for Children.

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.