Meadville Tribune

January 30, 2009

VIDEO: Valley Elementary Steelers' fight song



Valley Steelers' fight song from The Meadville Tribune on Vimeo.



By Penni Schaefer

Meadville Tribune

CONNEAUTVILLE — Pittsburgh Steelers mania is hard to escape, even at the most primitive — or, in this case, elementary school — level. One third-grade teacher has discovered how a little creativity can help harness the spirit behind the game and motivate his students in the process.

So motivated, in fact, that some of them even created their own Steelers fight song.

Since mid-season of the National Football League schedule, third-grade teacher Joe Kauffman at Conneaut Valley Elementary School has been riding the momentum of professional football and using simple aspects of the game to encourage children in his class to build camaraderie, do good deeds and complete their homework.

Wrapping up each week, “Football Fridays” in Kauffman’s class has included intense math games using a variety of media including everything from outmoded flash cards to new interactive state-of-the art Smartboards with number recognition ability. Technology old and new, coupled with a few little-prize rewards, has had an outcome that has been just short of spectacular.

“One student in particular went three weeks straight without missing a homework assignment,” Kauffman said. “Prior to that, he wasn’t nearly as dedicated.”

Shelby Stoneman, who previously didn’t demonstrate an interest in football, walked in one day wearing a new jersey and told her teacher she had used her own money to buy it.

“I have to admit, that almost brought a tear to my eye,” Kauffman said.

Jason Reupert, who was sporting a Ben Roethlisberger jersey, said the infusion of football into the classroom prompted him to pursue his own winning streak of sorts so that he could reap in-class benefits.

“I now try to hurry home and get my homework done first thing,” he said. “Then I am allowed to do things like put my name in the bag and throw the football.”

There are other signs that some contagion has afflicted students. In addition to wearing Steelers T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats that are commonplace, even girls are now proudly displaying black and gold beads, pony-tail holders and wearing stickers on their faces.

Kauffman said it’s all been a great deal of fun for everyone, especially for a Elizabeth Wolper and Lydia Clark, who, along with classmate Keith Wallace, wrote their very own “fight song” for the class which included a chorus of “We’re going to sack the Cardinals, oh yeah!”

After their in-class performance exclusively for The Meadville Tribune, Kauffman gave a critique.

“You are all third-graders and I’m not a music teacher, so to me, you guys were great!” he said.

Friday afternoon the long-awaited Super Bowl 43 party for Kauffman’s third-grade class culminated with a recital of their new song and a series of drawings for a variety of prizes, which included several items handmade by die-hard Steelers fan Marissa Henry.

No matter which professional football team members ultimately take home the diamond- and gold-encrusted Super Bowl rings, Kauffman said with Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests right around the corner, he’s confident the season-long rivalries among Pittsburgh and the other NFL teams have helped students become more self-motivated.

“It’s been fun and exciting, and with the PSSAs coming up, we’ve had our own goal and that is for them to become better mathematicians,” Kauffman said.



Penni Schaefer can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at pschaefer@meadvilletribune.com.





The Steelers will win the Super Bowl.

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!



Our offense is lead by Roethlisberger.

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!



Hines Ward will make spectacular plays.

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!

We’re going to get a touchdown — yeah, yeah!



Our defense is an unstoppable force.

We’re going to sack the quarterback — oh yeah!

We’re going to sack the quarterback — oh yeah!



Polamalu will intercept the ball.

We’re going to sack the quarterback — oh yeah!

We’re going to sack the quarterback — oh yeah!



Harrison will cause many fumbles.

We’re going to sack the Cardinals — oh yeah!

We’re going to sack the Cardinals — oh yeah!



Here we go Steelers, here we go!

Here we go Steelers, here we go!

Here we go Steelers, here we go!