Willie Ross student makes award-winning music video

EAST LONGMEADOW – Antonino Melchionne said his award-winning music video took a few days to produce, but essentially he just looked at the camera and started rapping.

Melchionne, a Westfield resident who is an eighth-grader at the Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) program in Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow, recently was recognized by the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps) in the organization’s annual “What My School Means to Me” contest.

Melchionne told Reminder Publications, “They liked it. They were happy. They think I did a good job.”

It was his first time rapping, he added.

In the past contests, students submitted written essays that described how their special education school has contributed to their successes and achievements. Melchionne’s video was selected out of 70 submissions by students from 18 schools.

“We are delighted to recognize Antonino for his exceptional work, his creativity and successes,” maaps Executive Director James V. Major said. “maaps member schools, like the Willie Ross School for the Deaf, and their teachers and staff work tirelessly to provide high-quality educational experiences to their students. Antonino’s award and his continued success reflects those efforts and the progress being made each day.”

Gregory DeLisle, WRSD’s director of Educational Services, explained the school draws students from 20 different communities and although the main campus is in Longmeadow, it has satellite programs at Birchland Park Middle School and East Longmeadow High School.

In his video Melchionne said, “Willie Ross makes me happy. The teachers are awesome. I like meeting people. They have awesome after school activities. I’m thankful for my teachers and friends who support and care for me; teachers and friends who are really nice and helpful to me. Willie Ross has given me the opportunity to meet and make new friends, both hearing and deaf.”

DeLisle said the school is looking to put the video on its website and Facebook page in the near future.

In the meantime, Melchionne said he might try another music video.

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Willie Ross student makes award-winning music video

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