CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Count inspirational rapping among the talents of Antonio Easley.
Antonio is an 11-year-old fifth-grader at Watts Elementary School on Charleston's West Side, where he serves as student council president. He was the school Math Field Day representative and maintains a 4.5 grade point average.
"My favorite classes are math and reading," he said. "Math will help me in life and so will reading. Biographies are my favorite. I like to learn about new people. They interest me."
Principal Pam Gould said Antonio will be missed as he moves on to middle school. She said he even made a presentation to the Kanawha County Board of Education on behalf of the school improvement council.
Add to his many interests basketball, football, playing drums and writing his own lyrics for rapping.
He said he likes to perform as a rapper as a way of inspiring other kids to use their individual talents in bold ways.
He steers away from those already written lyrics that promote drugs and inappropriate behavior. Instead, his songs inspire others to make the most of life and do homework to achieve good grades.
"I try to get kids who are nervous to show their talent," he said. "I believe everyone has a talent no matter what they say."
Antonio will be among performers at the Salvation Army's Boys & Girls Club End of School Block Party 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 301 Tennessee Ave.
The annual event encourages adults to spend meaningful time with children.
The block party will include food, prizes and many activities for parents and their children, ages 6 to 18. There will be a free tech-style hip-hop class, chess tournament, contests, games inflatables, face painting and vendor tables.
Some of the activities include concert performances by the Coyotes in Boxes, Elevation Ministry and Antonio, a member of the Charleston club whose stage name is Mr. Eazy.