Second graders at Delisle-Pass Christian Elementary had no idea an Arbor Day celebration on Wednesday would be filled with surprises. Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour kicked it off with an upbeat message.
"I know you're thinking about all your trees you see down," said Marsha Barbour. "But if we just one by one start planting trees, you're going to have all those trees back, and they're going to be bigger and better than ever."
Then came an introduction of a very special guest.
"Have you heard of the Rolling Stones before?" asked Rod Lowman, president of the Abundant Forests Alliance. "Yeah? I'm sure your parents have."
Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell really knew how to work the crowd.
"If you feel good, let me hear you say 'Yeah,'" shouted Chuck Leavell.
"Yeah," screamed the children.
"Let me hear you say 'Oh yeah,'" Leavell said as he shook his body.
"Oh yeah," the children yelled.
First, he entertained the youngsters by reading from a book he recently wrote - "The Tree Farmer." The book reflects Leavell's own life.
Leavell said, "Not only am I a musician, but my wife and I are tree farmers. We live in the state of Georgia."
Leavell also helped plant a Cypress tree at the school. And the highlight of the day was a free concert.
"You want to clap your hands," Leavell asked the kids. "That's all right."
To cap off a memorable day, every student received copy of Leavell's book to take home.
"The story was really, really good," said second grader Katie Ishee. When asked what she thought about the music, Katie responded "It was awesome!"
Two non-profit groups, First Book and the Abundant Forests Alliance, teamed up to donate 10,000 copies of The Tree Farmer to children across the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. In all, 100,000 books, including The Tree Farmer, were donated across the country.