Using TikTok to give back to students – WTVG

HOLLAND, Ohio (WTVG) – Counselors at Springfield Middle School didn’t think their video would go viral. But now that it has, they want to use the success to do good for their students here.
Spirit Week is doing a good job of lifting spirits at Springfield Middle School.
Kelsey DePompei is a counselor there. She tells 13abc, “Our spirit week was a student/teacher swap. So, the students dressed up like teachers, acting like us all day long, and the teachers dressed up as students and acted like them all day long.”
That was the premise of the viral video put together by counselors Kelsey DePompei, Amy Hagen, and Morgan Roe.
“It’s not based on any individual student, we were thinking of how we were when we were in middle school.” She adds that a few students have commented that they can identify with parts of the video.
It was part of the district’s Spirit Week. In fact, the school observed two Spirit Weeks in a row.
“This week is for Red Ribbon Week,” explains DePompei. “We’re also, not only dressing up, but we’re doing microlessons on learning about the dangers of substance abuse, alcohol, tobacco use, to help keep our kids safe.”
DePompei posted the video Friday, and as of Tuesday, it’s been viewed more than one million times.
“I texted both of them and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to go viral. This is blowing up.’”
It was meant to get students to laugh. “It kind of lightens things up a bit,” she explains. “As a school counselor, our number one job is managing crisis, managing mental health. I think a lot of people don’t realize are licensed mental health counselors who work in a school. A lot of times, our jobs are really serious, and this was a way for us to lighten things up a little bit.”
Now, DePompei and her coworkers have a chance to earn money.
“We know there are TikTok Teachers that make money off of their accounts, and we have a lot of students who are in need here, so we said, we could make something out of this,” DePompei explains. She says there are a number of things the group would like to invest in for students: “snacks, school supplies, backpacks, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, things like that.” She adds that paying off school lunch balances is in the plan.
DePompei says that her list of followers has exploded in the past couple of days, so much in fact, that she’s been approved for a creator fund and for brand sponsorship. “You get paid between 4 and 10 cents per thousand views that you get on a video,” she explains. “Either they would give you things, maybe in exchange for doing a video for them, or they would pay you for promoting their product. I won’t know how much actually came in until the end of the month.”
District leaders say they’re excited about the positivity, including Dana Falkenberg, the Assistant Superintendent for Springfield Schools. “About a year ago,” she says, “this district, like every other school district in the country was at the mercy of TikTok. We found ourselves dealing with all of the challenges and struggles that kids can be convinced to do via social media. So the idea that, in that same venue, we can find a resource and something that could be helpful for kids, was phenomenal, and I give props to that department for their ways to harness that.”
You can find the full video on DePompei’s Tiktok.
All three say they made the video after school hours, and they’ve already got a list of ideas for future videos.
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