Sam Swan, a kindergarten student at Eaton School in Eatonia, shows his Spartan pride as he moves through the celebration line during the filming of a video for The Student Project, a contest held by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

The students and faculty at Eaton School in Eatonia have made a video and they need people to watch it online for a chance to win cash for the school.

Nichole Bredy, a teacher in Eatonia, said the school has taken up a challenge made by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) and it is a competition known as The Student Project. The school made a video featuring a parody of the song “If I Had $1,000,000” by the Barenaked Ladies.

The school’s version of the song is called “If I Had $10,000” and the school could win a $10,000 grand prize just by participating in program. Participating schools could win money as part of The Student Project initiative.

According to Bredy, the program applies to any K-12 school in Saskatchewan and 35 schools have entered a video in The Student Project. All participating schools are entered in a grand prize draw for $10,000. Another prize, the gold star prize, of $7,500 goes to the school with the video that gets the most views on YouTube.

The contest ends at noon on June 11 and people could type the words “watch what happens when Eaton School students takeover” in online search engines such as Google or click here to watch the video. Bredy said there are other links to the video including one on the school’s website.

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In an interview on Sunday, she said the school was in first place and the video had been viewed more times than any other school’s video. The teacher said Eaton School’s video was only ahead by about 400 views, so people could still help.

The video had more than 8,700 views as of Monday night, and she said it is pretty good for a school of 130 students. Bredy said the students have ideas for how to use the money if they win the contest, and they have their sights set on getting the most views.

“We’re going for the sure bet,” she said of the gold star prize, recognizing the grand prize is a random draw and the gold star prize allows the participants to have control over their own destiny. “We have a better chance at that.”

She noted that the idea is for students to work with the faculty to create a video to showcase Eaton School, and what the students enjoy about the school. The teachers could help with filming and editing, but the video had to show the creativity and vision of the students.

Bredy said the school’s staff sat down to brainstorm ideas for the video, and one of the ideas was to make a parody of the Barenaked Ladies hit song. After the staff had the idea, the school’s students took over the project.

The school has a mentorship class for students in grades 9-12 and students in the class take on different projects to help them build leadership skills, Bredy said. The video became a project for the high school students and committees were established to work on parts of the project.

Students wrote lyrics, captured video footage, took photographs, organized shots and created props among other tasks. The teacher said older students also taught the lyrics to younger students at the school. The video was shot in one day, Bredy said.

She noted that Mitch Larock, a musician and Eaton School alum, helped to record the audio because he had the equipment to do the job. Jenny Hagan, a photographer, also helped with the project. Students showed amazing leadership, and it was great to see the collaboration between staff and students, she said.

“It truly was a whole school project,” the teacher said, recognizing that the students and faculty balanced their school duties and project responsibilities to help make the video in a short span. “We did this all in five days.”

Aaron Keith, a Grade 12 student who helped to organize the project, said he did not have a part in the video, but his organizational skills were put to the test. Keith made a schedule for the entire project and helped to ensure people stayed on schedule.

He noted that it was like work, but he found the task to be a nice challenge for him once he got going. The student said he learned about the hardships of trying to get several people together at once and it was only one of his challenges.

Keith said there was a master plan that was continually being updated, but he did not have a whole lot to work with at the start. He had to assemble several ideas and plans to produce one plan for everyone to follow. He said it was a team effort and he thanked his fellow high school students for helping.

Amber Adams, a Grade 11 student in the video, said she was pleased with the video and how it turned out in the end. She said the project was stressful at the beginning because she was nervous about the end result, but the organized chaos worked out and so did the video.

“It was kind of chaotic at times, but the video came together really well,” Adams said, recognizing that her favourite scene to shoot took place in the home economics lab where she and her school mates ended up getting covered in flour.


Eaton School