- Sponsorship -

Students Cheer up Ill Teen with ‘Happy’ Lip Dub

Cheering up a sick teenager recently involved a very happy project by Explorer Elementary fifth-graders.

The Kentwood Public Schools students hung from monkey bars, sang with puppets and danced “The Sprinkler,” to the song, “Happy,” by singer Pharrell Williams, all to make Emma, a teenager from Grosse Pointe, smile.

Teacher Derek Braman coordinated the project after learning of a request to cheer up the homebound Grosse Pointe South High School student. Emma’s teacher, Nicholas Provenzano, also known as “The Nerdy Teacher, is a technology guru who blogs about classroom activities. Braman saw a tweet from Provenzano asking people to create lip dubs and send in the videos for Emma.

Provenzano received a big response, and has created a compilation video from submissions from several states, Canada, and Australia.

From Provenzano’s blog:

“My students that shared sixth hour with her wanted to do something nice for Emma because she had been very down lately. Fighting an illness for months can be exhausting and Emma needed a pick-me-up. Leave it to students to come up with a plan to make another student smile.”

Explorer students’ stage was the classroom and school yard. They took to heart Braman’s permission to break the playground rules, climbing atop equipment, standing on swings and rolling down a hill to the lyrics: “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”

Braman filmed the video on his smart phone. “Everyone got the chance to do their own little experiment on how they wanted to dance to “Happy,” Braman said.

When asked how they felt about the project, students lifted their arms in the air:

“Happy!” they yelled in unison.


The Nerdy Teacher

Niccholas Provenzano on Twitter

About the project

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


Guided Education Programs

Provide learners opportunities to explore culture, history and science through tours, hands-on activities, and guided exploration. Programming Strands: Explore, Investigate, STEAM, Discover, and Share.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Operation Face Shield: complete

The nine-week project resulted in 10,000 pieces of PPE that were distributed in West Michigan to more than 100 organizations...

Longtime art teacher receives two major education awards

East Kentwood High School teacher Le Tran was named the Michigan Art Education Association secondary art educator of the year and the 2020 Overall MAEA art educator of the year...

Leaving a greener footprint

Thanks to three years of work by devoted students, Crestwood Middle School earned the Evergreen School Environmental Stewardship Designation from Michigan Green Schools...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU