Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 30, 2013

It takes all kinds

North Park's "All Kinds of Kinds" video is getting major attention

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A video – seen over 50,000 times on YouTube and tweeted about by a country music star – all started with a sleepless night for a Lockport teacher.

North Park's "All Kinds of Kinds" video is getting all kinds of attention. Some of it is from area residents, while some attention has come from schools or people located all over the country.

But the biggest boost came Monday in the form of a Twitter and Facebook mention from Miranda Lambert, whose song serves as the inspiration for the video. "Just saw this video North Park Junior High made... They have the right idea!" the award winning singer said.

Lambert's "All Kinds of Kinds" is a popular song, as it debuted this year on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this month. Jeff Dinse, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at North Park Junior High School, said he had heard it before and liked it.

But one night after walking his dog, Dinse said he couldn't get back to sleep. While on the computer he came across Lambert's song.

"For some reason I watched her video at like 3 in the morning and she has signs in her video," Dinse said. "And I thought to myself, that would be a cool video to make for our school, because schools are made up of all different kinds of kids, all different kinds of teachers."

The video was shot almost in an entire day, which was a very exhausting undertaking, Dinse said. A group of teachers and students pulled everything together pretty quickly.

"And most of it was edited that night," said North Park Principal Ryan Schoenfeld.

The four-and-a-half minute video shows about 50 to 100 students and faculty in spots all over school grounds, most of them holding a dry-erase board with something written on it. Some of those boards share character traits, such as "quiet kind," or something the kids are interested in such as "cheerleading kind."

Other boards mention issues a student may face, such as having their parents divorced, to make the video even more meaningful. And putting those issues in the video has had an unintended effect, Dinse said, as students dealing with those issues have found it easier to talk about it with someone.

And the video has an important message, said Julia Brockman, 13.

"Some kids might feel it's hard to be themselves, now they see they can be," she said.

As of Wednesday, the video was at 54,000 views after being posted Oct. 22. That number is expected to grow, especially since Lambert has 3.1 million Twitter followers alone.

Ella Swanson, 13, was one of the students in the video, showing off a "cross country kind" sign.

"I never thought it would be so popular," she said.

All of the kids who were involved were excited about it, as "it was fun being a part of the video," added Devin Glena, 13.

To go along with the video, North Park is taking pictures of students, adults and even visitors to the school showing a dry-erase board with their own "kind" written on it. There is already a pretty long line of pictures up in the school hallway, with another 200 on the way, Schoenfeld said. Some kids have even had their picture taken twice.

"Sometimes we put stuff up on the bulletin boards and the kids don't look at it, now they're trying to find themselves," Dinse said. "I can't describe the positive experience I think it's been for everybody, the students, the teachers, the community... the emails I get are unbelievable, the Facebook posts. I don't know how many posts I've read that are, 'I'd love this video if I could see through my tears.'"

And for Schoenfeld, the experience has been a good one. As a new principal, Schoenfeld said it allows him to get to know the kids a little better than he normally would. And it's helping the kids get to know each other, Schoenfeld added.

"We want them to feel like this is their school," he said. "And they feel that sense of belonging."

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Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.