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VIDEO: Casimir Pulaski School staff dancing with joy

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MERIDEN — Staff at Casimir Pulaski School are dancing with joy to encourage good behavior.

Many have heard singer Pharrell William’s infectious song, “Happy.” After a long, harsh winter, the pop song seems especially appropriate, or at least that’s what Mary Ogint, a fourth-grade teacher at Pulaski, thought.

Ogint, a teacher for 28 years, saw a team of morning news anchors dancing along to the song one morning and thought, “we could do that.”

So she went around the school, filming teachers, front office staff, custodians, cafeteria workers and crossing guards. Principal Daniel Coffey and School Superintendent Mark Benigni also appear.

“I said, ‘Just dance,’ and some people really got into it,” Ogint said.

She filmed staff using her phone without music and away from students.

Ogint set it to Pharrell’s song before displaying it on a TV monitor one morning as students walked into the school.

“I stand right here,” Coffey said Thursday, motioning to a spot near the TV in the front hallway of the school. “And the look on those kids faces when they saw all their teachers dancing, I mean it was incredible. It’s 7:10 in the morning, kids are usually still tired, but seeing that video just put huge grins on their faces.”

Ogint said her students request to watch it again and again.

“Kids love seeing their teachers being silly, because we usually don’t get a chance to do that,” she said.

Her plan now is to remake the video, but starring students. Ogint said she’d open up a raffle for students who were interested, “and pick maybe 20 children,” she said.

Those 20 children would then have to earn their way into the video by handing over tickets earned by displaying positive behavior.

“It’s a great idea,” Coffey said.

For now, though, the staff version of the video seems to be having the intended effect.

“Kids see it, they love it, they’re happy,” Ogint said.



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