"Guns down!" Those are the pleas of young kids at the Sanctuary on 8th Street in Springfield. A group of elementary school-aged girls wrote a song about the violence they've seen in their own neighborhoods, trying to shine a light in their community.
The Sanctuary on 8th Street is a non-profit childcare program where the kids in need can be empowered through education and arts.
The song was born after a conversation about the Raines and Lee High School football game just a couple of months ago. It is a skit that begins with the announcement that there's been "a school shooting," sending a serious message.
Some of the lyrics of the song are, "You need to put down your gun, you need to put down your knives, I'm tired of seeing people kill innocent lives. I'm too scared to have a kid, not because I can't afford it, but when he dies, all you'll do is record it."
The kids are as young as 9 years old, begging for change.
"One of the girls said she knew some people at the football game, and my jaw just fell open," said Enrichment Specialist at the Sanctuary on 8th Sandy Spurney. "The other girl just started rhyming."
The kids said they're getting used to the violence in their own neighborhood. Just down the road, six people shot on A. Phillip Randolph.
"I was living in this one neighborhood where at the end of the street, there would always be these shootouts, and a kid would get shot or a grown-up who wasn't even involved in it," said 9-year-old Sanaiyah Poitier.
The kids said they wrote it to showcase the importance of lives lost to gun violence.
"They have very important lives and they die because of these shootings because people have anger towards other people," said 12-year-old Leah Grappie.
"We're hoping it will reach a lot of people in a positive way," said Spurney.
After learning about another tragic mass shooting across the country in Southern California, they believe their song is more relevant than ever.
To view the full clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N9tqLhka0I