LIVINGSTON, Mont. — Molly Gilbert isn’t your typical sixth-grade student.
“I’ve been writing songs for a long time; since I was 4 I would write little songs. This is the first time I actually did something with one,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert’s song, “What the Constitution means to me,” was recently named the winning entry in the middle school division of the “What does the US Constitution mean to me” contest. The contest was constructed by the Montana YouthVote Program.
“Once (the contest) said something about (submitting) music, I was really excited about that, also,” Gilbert explained. “In school, we’re learning about the Amendments, and the lyrics, I don’t know, I just researched, watched a video about the Constitution, and it all kind of came to me.”
Gilbert attends The Way Christian School in Livingston, a nondenominational Christian school serving children from preschool through 12th grade. Staff and students take pride in the quality of their education, which includes the US Constitution and its Amendments. Gilbert’s teacher is her mother, Keisha.
“It was good (working on the song with my mom),” said Molly. “I wrote the song by myself, but I would sing it to her as I went. She recorded it.”
“I didn’t even have to try (to memorize the song),” she continued. “Once I write it, it’s stuck in my head.”
Molly’s song would be an impressive entry for a student of any age, but the patriotic lyrics being penned by a sixth grader? Extraordinary.
“One thing so special, so important to me, is the right to go to church and the freedom of speech,” her song begins. “In 1787, that is when all of this happened. And ever since that day, there’s been a Constitution with many rules, drafted and written by James Madison. It is called the highest law in the land, made for every man and woman.”
The song concludes with the line: “This is what it means, the Constitution’s important to me, because it’s the reason I’m free.”
Molly was one of six students honored in the inaugural contest, which was launched on September 17 in celebration of Constitution Day. She says researching the Constitution, as well as studying its history in school, is significant for students like her.
“I think it’s really important because it’s just good to know when you’re older in case you ever get into something, you want to know your rights,” Molly explained of the Constitution. “Amendment One (is most important to me), because I have a strong faith in Jesus and I think it’s really important that I get to worship him.”