Goodyear students hear positive message from hip-hop mogul, wife

If the children at Goodyear Elementary School can dream it, they were encouraged Wednesday to chase it by a group of special guests with deep hip-hop connections.

Damon Dash and his wife Raquel M. Horn, author of the children’s book Dusko Goes to Space, brought their band and an affirming message for a special presentation of the book and a little bit of extra fun to promote STEM education.

Dash is a co-founder, along with the rapper Jay-Z, of Roc-A-Fella Records and Roccawear.

Horn, who wrote the book for the couple’s 3-year-old son, Dusko, said her dream had always been to be an author, but she faced challenges achieving that dream because she was diagnosed with dyslexia.

“I had a hard time reading and writing until I was in the third grade,” Horn told the students, wearing her orange astronaut costume along with the live band on stage.

Despite those challenges, Horn said she continued to pursue her dream and today is a published author.

“My dream was to write a book, and today, you’re going to read my dream,” Horn said.

With live music backing her and with help from singer Cadence April’s puppet work, Horn read about Dusko and his French bulldog, Governor, and their dream to go to space. After a nutritious breakfast from Mom and some sage advice from Dad, they are discouraged by his sister. Despite that, Dusko and Governor convert a cardboard box into a spaceship and use their imagination to go on an educational journey through the solar system.

The band sang songs about being confident, loving yourself and working hard to achieve dreams.

That was what Dash told the students he did when he created Roc-A-Fella Records with what he called a dream team around him.

“Now, y’all are looking at my dream, and I can’t wait to look at yours,” Dash said.

After singing a song about pursuing dreams, Dash invited a group of students up to the front of the gymnasium stage to dance and let loose as the school day ended.

Goodyear students were given a book after the show in honor of what would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 30th birthday. Arbery was chased and killed by three men as he jogged through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in February 2020.

The event was organized by Iman Ali and Minister James Aziz, who used to be Snoop Dogg’s tour manager. Both have strong connections to the Golden Isles and invited Horn and Dash to come put on their children’s show for the students at Goodyear to honor Arbery’s birthday.

Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud Arbery’s father, attended and told the students they can be what they want to be if they work hard.

That was the same message Brunswick Mayor Cosby Johnson told the students.

“Each and everyone of you can be what you want to be, but it starts with hard work,” he said.