Polka Dot Pants Dance Video Fun!

 

 

Dozier Named the National "Grand Champions" in the Polka Dot Pants Dance Contest!!


They won a visit from Author Eric Litwin!

 

Dozier Elementary's Polka Dot Pants Dance on Vimeo

 

 

See News Release here!

&

Author Eric Litwin's Visit to Dozier Elementary!

Polka Dot TShirt Form

Special Links below.

 

Dozier Wins a National Video Contest! Earns Author Visit

When Dozier Elementary Librarian Schuyler Poche' attended the Annual Louisiana Reading Conference with colleagues Pam Cheek, Kayla Lucas and Jennifer Toups in September, little did she realize how a few "Pete the Cat" reading sessions with Author Eric Litwin would bring the school a big reward.

While at the conference in Baton Rouge, Poche' learned of a way she could try to get nationally known Author Eric Litwin to visit her school. As with most school libraries, funding "big name" authors  is normally not in their budget.  However, at his session to promote his newest book "The Nuts, Sing and Dance in Your Polka-Dot Pants", Eric Litwin shared that he was conducting a video contest which could earn one school, a free visit from him valued at $3500. He then offered the group details about his "Polka Dot Dance Pants" video contest.  Poche' admitted, "my mind began racing as to how Dozier Elementary could write and produce a video to enter."  She then added that she and the trio of teachers with her at the conference, "immediately began brainstorming ideas while still in Baton Rouge."

Upon her return from the conference, the project for the school's "Polka Dot Dance Pants" video ideas was set in motion. She checked on protocol with district and school leaders, then met with Dozier Elementary teachers and volunteers who would be willing to help her. Poche' said, it was then her idea blossomed into a "school wide project for Dozier."

Along with Poche', music teacher Kylie Veazey, 4th grade teacher Lori Porter, and several teachers began meeting to write the script and plan video sessions. The premise of the story lies with Dozier students looking around town for "Pete the Cat" (a main character in Litwin's books) to help teach them the "Polka Dot Pants Dance." The final touch in the video was to have a Cajun twist in the storyline.

For the video, Kindergarten teacher Hope Hebert was chosen for the "Pete the Cat" role.  Poche stated that she felt "they picked the perfect person to play Pete the Cat. Hope (Hebert) truly brought the story's main character to life."

With the script and ideas now in place, Poche' contacted retired Dozier Teacher Stacy Bodin who still works with the school's technology program, to assist with the editing and publishing part of the project.  She knew between teacher Lori Porter and Bodin, she would leave the technology portion in their hands.

The next step entailed securing help to teach the student body the "Polka Dot Pants Dance" without using instructional time in the classroom.  Poche's support system to help teach the dance to the students involved with Dana Frederick, (PE teacher) and Kylie Veazy (Music teacher) who each meets with the students weekly.  Poche' also used her library time to assist with teaching the dance, as well as promoting Eric Litwin's books which encouraged reading and literacy.

As students and faculty members were learning the dance, the energetic librarian then began her quest of involving the community. She invited Mayor John Earl LeBlanc (and his secretaries Jamie Simon, Raquel Harris, Tanya Hebert), members of the Erath Fire Department (Tristin Bouillion, Chad Eden, Chad Savoy), Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Jerome Puyau, Supervisor Mary Joyce Dugas, Erath High Principal Marc Turner and both the EHS Cheerleaders and Dance Teams.  To complete the community involvement, she also involved locally owned Champagne's Grocery Store and Gloria Richard, a long time worker there. 

On days off of school or after school, Poche' and her caravan of mothers, community members, teachers, and students, traveled around Erath to video different performances prior to the main school wide dancing event. One video clip was filmed at an actual Erath High football game.

With her eyes firmly focused on the prize, Poche' then worked with her school  leaders Principal Karla Toups and Assistant Principal Christine Hebert to launch a school wide production set for October 22nd.  The excited students and educators were encouraged to wear polka dot clothing for the production. On that fall afternoon, almost 600 students, teachers, leaders and guests gathered to dance for their "Polka Dot Pants Dance" video. Fortunately, the final clips that day were filmed without a hitch. At that time, the editing stage began with a deadline set for November 1st. 

After viewing the video, Erath Mayor John Earl LeBlanc who participated in the video shared, "I am so proud of Schuyler (Poche') and the teachers at Dozier who helped with the video. I was amazed at the involvement of the Erath Community"  LeBlanc ended by sharing, "As I always say, only in Erath, Louisiana. I love this town!"

Erath Town Councilman Robert B. Vincent, who is also the Erath 4th of July Association President has been actively involved with Dozier Elementary through the years. Though invited for the production, he wasn't able to attend the taping. He, however, shared his sentiments by saying,  "I am so proud of what the students and faculty of Dozier Elementary were able to accomplish by working together with other members of the community.  I can't think of better ambassadors for Erath, telling the world of what a great community in which we live."

After waiting several weeks for the results, on the morning of Friday, November 20th, the announcement was made that Dozier Elementary was the Grand Champion winner.  Eric Litwin's official announcement on his website stated, "Thank you to everyone involved in the Polka-Dot Pants Dance Contest. The contest was a HUGE success with 80 videos entered, because of YOU! Thank you to all the extraordinary students. (We estimate that over 20,000 children participated!) Thank you amazing teachers, fun principals, extraordinary librarians, three town mayors, and even the First Lady of Tennessee! Thank you to our 20 tireless volunteers who helped to judge and give wonderful compliments to each and every video. Our judges have selected a Grand-prize winner, and 11 Finalists. This was so hard because every video was awesome, heartfelt, and full of fun. Our Grand-prize winner (Dozier Elementary) will receive a free visit from me!"

Upon hearing the news, Erath High Principal Marc Turner, who participated in the video with his EHS Cheerleaders and Dance team posted the announcement on the Erath school's facebook page. "Congratulations to our feeder school, Dozier Elementary, who was announced as the winner of the Polka Dot Dance! What a phenomenal project to show off the school and impress upon the students how creativeness and competition can lead to awards that show off our community. Thank you for letting EHS be a part of this project."

Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau who also had a dancing role in the video, shared this message,  "Congratulations to the faculty, staff and administration of Dozier Elementary on winning this national competition. A special thank you to Schuyler Poche' for organizing the project.  What an amazing accomplishment!  I am proud to live in a community that comes together to help our children."

After the school found it about the Grand Champion status, Principal Karla Toups shared, "needless to say we are extremely proud that we were selected the Grand Champion, however, I have to add how amazed I am with the amount of community involvement we received."  Toups then added, "In a nutshell, Mrs. Poche' came back from her conference with a seed of an idea to promote literacy with our students. She planted that seed with our faculty who basically watered it to get it started. Our community then helped by offering  plenty of sunlight. How wonderful is that? It was a recipe for success! I am extremely proud of Mrs. Poche and my faculty, staff and community!"

Toups ended by sharing, "We want to thank everyone who participated and who offered help. It is appreciated more than anyone can imagine. In addition to winning the contest, our students will have this special memory for a lifetime! As a leader, I feel that is definitely a 'win, win' situation for all." 

Suffice it to say, the very excited, Dozier Elementary Librarian Schuyler Poche' echoed the exact same sentiments as her school leader!

The school's video can be viewed from the Dozier Elementary website @ http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/dozier.

 

Dozier Elementary (Pre K-5)
"We Care"

415 West Primeaux
Erath, LA 70533

337-937-6915
Fax: 937-0630

Website address http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/dozier

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