‘X Factor’ star visits Kids First

Recording artist Rachel Crow, right, poses for photos with members of the Kids First Awareness Center in Alabaster during her visit to the center on July 11. (Reporter Photo/Jessica Crihfield)

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A recording artist and former participant on the “X Factor” television show took time away from her concert preparations at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre July 11 to discuss combating bullying at Alabaster’s Kids First Awareness Community Center.

Rachel Crow, who is best known for her self-titled EP and its single “Mean Girls,” spent about an hour at the community center for at-risk kids encouraging the children to follow their dreams and combat bullying in the communities.

“I just want you to know that following your dreams is a good thing. I followed my dreams, and I know you can too,” Crow told the group of more than 50 kids from Kids First and the Birmingham-based Lovelady Center.

She encouraged the kids to “just walk away” when they encounter bullying, and to always tell a teacher or adult.

“Sometimes, just saying thank you confuses (the bullies),” Crow said.

During her visit, which was part of her partnership with Dosomething.org, she pointed the kids to a bullying survey on the Do Something Facebook.com page and performed a song for those in attendance.

Crow’s visit came a few hours before she was scheduled to take the stage at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre for a concert with Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson.

Before Crow’s arrival at Kids First, kids there held a talent show featuring dancing, singing and performing from children of all ages. The four winners of the talent show then performed their winning pieces for Crow after she spoke to the crowd.

“She is helping to make an impact, and she is giving you something to shoot for,” Kids First Executive Director Cindy Hawkins told the kids. “We need to be fighting and doing well every day and trying to make a positive impact in our community.”