Kelly Rowland rings the alarm for a new school year

Kelly Rowland arrives at the BET Awards, June 26, 2011, in Los Angeles.

(CBS) Remember when you were in school and summer vacation was coming to a close? It's entirely possible that, like many kids, you didn't have any interest in waking up early and hitting the books when the school year started.

Singer Kelly Rowland wanted to help kids get ready for the upcoming school year by ringing the alarm bell at the "Largest Wake-Up Call" event, put on by the Boys and Girls Club of America's "Be Ready" initiative.

Pictures: Kelly Rowland at the BET Awards 2011

"It's like an obstacle course [like you'd find at recess] to basically get kids into thinking and getting up in the morning and preparing themselves for a great school year," Rowland said in a phone interview.

"Last year more than a million students nationally failed to graduate with a high school diploma," Rowland said. She says got involved with the initiative when she learned how many kids didn't graduate.

"For me, I just think about my godkids and I think about myself being a student and how hard it was as a kid. It's not just about education," she said. "It's just about being a kid, period, and knowing that there's a huge world out here of opportunity. And I don't want to see anybody miss out on an opportunity and a moment that is theirs."

When asked what she wished someone had told her as a kid to help her prepare for school, she said with a laugh, "I wish they had told me to be more excited about math class."

She planned on participating in the back-to-school obstacle course, too. "Absolutely! I have to get my exercise in today with the kids. I have to show them I can warm up too. I can do it, too."

It's been a big year for Rowland. Her latest solo album, "Here I Am," contains her biggest solo radio hit to date, "Motivation (featuring Lil Wayne)," and its follow-up, "Lay it On Me" was released Tuesday. In September and October she'll tour with Chris Brown, who's having a great year himself.

When asked if she and Brown planned to share the stage at all on tour, she said, "We haven't talked about that just yet. But some things I would want to be a surprise."

Finally, Rowland will be the face of Sean John's new fragrance "Empress," which launches Friday.

For more information about the Be Ready initiative, click here.

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