The message is in the music for DJHK Gurls
Daryn Seals, Joy and Hennessey Ross and Kennedy Lawrence used to play a make-believe game called "Enchantix," putting on pretend concerts with Bratz dolls.
Make-believe became reality in the summer of 2010, when the four Reynoldsburg students and friends decided to sing, dance and write rap songs and drama skits, calling themselves the DJHK Gurls.
Two years later, they are using their music to send anti-bullying, pro-education messages and trying to help other students deal with problems.
The girls have videos up at Youtube.com under DJHKGurl and perform at parties, events and school assemblies. They also were recently featured on Fox 28 television news.
Joylynn Ross, mother of Joy and Hennessey, said she watched the girls putting on their make-believe concerts and heard them talking about some of the things they had to deal with at school.
Mrs. Ross, who writes Christian fiction and children's stories, said she decided to help the girls tweak their songs, based on issues they faced every day at school.
"When I helped to write the songs, I had no idea at the time that Daryn's dad was Deron Seals, who produces music," she said. "So Deron listens to the girls and writes the music.
"It is more than trying to make catchy tunes," she said. "We wanted to be able to reach the kids who were having problems with bullies or other issues. What better way to reach the kids than if kids are telling the story?"
Daryn Seals, 10, goes to Waggoner Road Middle School.
"I like the acting the best," she said. "One of our messages to kids is to get good grades and study in school."
Joy Ross, 10, also attends Waggoner Road Middle School.
"My favorite thing is the singing," she said. "I really like to sing."
She said if someone she knows is being bullied, she would ask them to "tell a teacher about it."
She said singing in a group is exciting.
"We wanted to be famous and we really like to sing," she said.
Her sister, Hennessey, 13, attends Waggoner Road Junior High School, where she plays violin in the school orchestra.
"I like explaining positive messages with our songs," she said. "We tell kids that bullying should stop and if you see someone being bullied, you need to tell a teacher or some other adult."
Kennedy Lawrence, 13, also attends Waggoner Road Junior High. She is the only one of the girls who has actually been bullied.
"I was bullied in fifth grade -- bullied so bad that I was transferred to another school," she said.
Kennedy said she likes collaborating with the other girls.
"I like that we work together to make our music," she said. "We get ideas and we talk about (them) and compromise on what we want to say. It started with us just trying to write songs, then we added the concept of bullying and other issues."
Her message to any student being bullied or having problems in school is, "Don't try to handle it on your own; make sure you get help and tell someone about it."
She said one of their songs, Honor Roll, encourages kids to reach for academic success.
"Our message in Honor Roll is to tell kids that they should try to get good grades even though people may think it is geeky," she said. "It is not about the clothes or car -- it's what is in the guy's mind."
Mrs. Ross said the group created a project campaign on indiegogo.com, called DJHK Gurls Experience. She said the girls choose the messages they want to send in their songs.
"Mr. Seals produces the music, but he sits down and talks to the girls and asks how they want their message related," she said. "If they want to change the words in a song, they change the words. It is their message. It doesn't come from us."
She said the girls' ultimate goal is to travel across the world with their songs, as well as doing television and someday making it to the big screen.
Mrs. Ross said the girls have been recording their first project, called Honor Roll, in Seals' music studio.
"Each song the group performs is more than just a great beat and catchy tune. It has a great message," she said.
She said Inside Voice encourages students to report bullying; Show Me the Books sends the message that learning and education are more important than material things and the lyrics to Honor Roll say, "There is nothing wrong with being smart and making good grades."
The group has a website at djhkgurls.com.