Second-graders at Frost Elementary School in Livingston decided to “shake it off” for Taylor Swift.
On Tuesday, english and language arts teacher Courtney Blount uploaded a two-minute video on YouTube titled “Shake the Flood Taylor Swift Tribute” in which students thanked the pop superstar for her $100,000 donation to Louisiana schools affected by the Great Flood of 2016.
In the video, 46 second-graders sang and danced to an original version of Swift’s hit song “Shake it Off” in the school’s cafeteria. They initially tried to shoot it in the gymnasium, but the children’s voices echoed loudly in the wide-open space, forcing a last-minute change.
But that didn’t keep the students from letting loose, especially since there was a chance Swift would actually see it.
“They were so excited because that’s their idol,” Blount said.
The idea sprung in Blount’s head last year, when Frost Elementary became a shelter for those hit by the Great Flood of 2016. Several students from Blount’s two second-grade classes had also flooded and were living in campers, as well as several other kids from the school.
“My second-graders really understood the tragedy and realized the severity of it,” Blount said. “Their hearts were broken.”
Swift eased everyone’s hearts with her $100,000 donation last September. The singer gave $50,000 to the Livingston Parish school district and $42,000 to the St. Tammany school system. She also gave an additional $8,450 in gift cards and 30 pallets of student and teacher supplies.
To show their appreciation for the unexpected gift, Blount and math teacher Rachael Hood’s second-grade students thanked Swift to the tune of one of her most popular songs.
Blount co-wrote the original lyrics with the help of two teacher’s aides, Lori Payne and Tiffany Blount. Hugh Parker filmed the students’ performance, which included choreography Courtney Blount taught the classes.
The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, May 16, and has amassed more than 2,500 views as of Friday morning.
Once she uploaded the video, Courtney Blount said she sent it to Fox News, 'Good Morning America' and other national and local news outlets. WAFB Channel 9 News in Baton Rouge aired the video Wednesday morning.
After missing school on Wednesday, Courtney Blount wasn't able to see her students’ reactions to all the media attention until Thursday.
They were still glowing.
“When I walked in (Thursday) morning, they told me they were famous,” Courtney Blount said.