Songwriting is fun for kids, say fifth-graders Norah Skogen and Ava Letinich. They and their peers recently gained firsthand experience when songwriter Steve Seskin visited Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School on Nov. 20. Seskin, author of hit songs including “Grown Men Don’t Cry” and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” led the school’s entire fifth-grade class in penning a tune called “The World Is Ours.”

Students got a crash course in song anatomy and the creative process.

“The kids came up with the notion that we could take care of the planet better and we could also better take care of one another,” said Seskin.

He told them, “Writing isn’t like a math problem. There’s more than one right answer.”

The resulting song is a meditation on the responsibilities of inheritance, with themes of conservation, inclusion and respect.

The fifth-grade class performed their new track for the school’s third- and fourth-grade classes in an assembly that day.

Seskin hoped the experience would inspire other art: “Whether they ever write another song, maybe they’ll write a poem, maybe they’ll draw a picture, maybe they’ll do a dance—whatever it is, using the arts to express yourself,” he said.

And the lessons—about writing and about honoring the environment and one another—also may persist. Asked if they thought the song would have a lasting impact on the school, Norah and Ava agreed: Yes!

To hear the finished song, as well as other songs by VPS students, visit