Saskatchewan

Grade 6 students hope music video inspires others to ask for help when struggling

'The kids kind of took control of it and came up with this wonderful concept,' says their teacher Michael Slobodian.

'The kids kind of took control of it,' says their teacher Michael Slobodian

Grade 6 teacher Michael Slobodian and students Guneet Jassal and Nora Nabate were part of the team that made a music video set to 'Put Your Hands Up' by Forest Blakk. (Cory Coleman/CBC)

A Grade 6 classroom wants students to know they're not alone and they've created a music video to show it. 

Michael Slobodian teaches at Arcola School. He has put together music videos in the past and wanted to do one for a class project. 

The students decided to create a video for the song Put Your Hands Up by Canadian musician Forest Blakk. The song is about coming together to help each other. 

"It goes from two students helping another one, to three, to four," Slobodian said. "They're all putting their hands up to show that if you need some help — if you need a hand — there's people around you to support you."

"The kids kind of took control of it and came up with this wonderful concept," he said. 

For two students in the music video, it was personal. Guneet Jassal starts out the video by sitting alone on a bench. Jassal said she has struggled with feeling down in the past 

"I sometimes suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and being in this video, watching this video, listening to the song, made me feel better about myself," Jassal said. 

"When I saw it I was, like, 'I'm in this video.' I feel special. And the best," she said. 

I'm so overjoyed knowing that a bunch of sixth graders took the time to make a film for my song.- Forest Blakk

Nora Nabate said she hopes people see themselves reflected in the music video. 

"So that everybody will understand that we all are like that," she said. "It's not weird or anything and we should put our hands up." 

Forest Blakk said he video chatted with the students on Wednesday to tell them how amazing it was to see their video. 

"Honestly, I'm so overjoyed knowing that a bunch of sixth graders took the time to make a film for my song," Blakk said. 

"Those kids answered my question of 'Am I alone out here?' with a giant hand up to show that no I am not!" 

Slobodian said when he showed the class the final video, the reaction was amazing. 

"When we're able to share it with the kids and share it with our school, it's such a special feeling," he said. "[To] see such hard work be rewarded with such a nice, hopeful, inspiring video."

For anyone struggling, the video stars have a message. 

"You're amazing," Jassal said. "And if someone is mean to you, just stick up — tell them, 'You can't treat me like that. I'm the same person as you.'"

"You're not alone," Nabate said. "And other people are suffering from that too."

For anyone feeling anxious or low, Slobodian hopes they'll reach out for help. 

"It really can lift a person up, and just being around people and being around such positivity is such a great thing," he said. "There's people out there to support you. There's kindness and love in this world and that's what we're hoping to show everyone."

About the Author

Heidi Atter

AP/Journalist

Heidi Atter is a journalist working in Regina. She started with CBC Saskatchewan after a successful internship and has a passion for character-driven stories. Heidi has worked as a reporter, web writer, associate producer and show director so far, and has worked in Edmonton, at the Wainwright military base, and in Adazi, Latvia. Story ideas? Email heidi.atter@cbc.ca.

With files from The Afternoon Edition and Cory Coleman

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