BURLINGTON, Ky. – The teacher playing deejay outside the front door and kids dancing to the music as they arrive for school make sure there are no Monday morning blahs at Stephens Elementary.
"It's going to be an amazing day here. We're going to learn so much. We're going to work hard," the deejay, drama teacher Chad Caddell, says in the mic as more kids step off the bus and get down.
"It's waking everybody up, getting everybody moving," volunteer librarian Donna Klotz says. "It's amazing."
It started when the administration tried to figure out how to welcome kids back on the first day of school, and it's been going on every Monday since. Even Klotz joins in.
"I love it. I come in, I do my little groove, shake my body," Klotz said.
With his enthusiasm, Caddell is like Willy Wonka and Dewey Finn (Jack Black's character in "School of Rock") rolled into one.
"It's the best job in the world, baby," he says.
The idea for the Monday Morning Jam is to get kids active and ready to learn. Fifth-grader Robert Butler, wise beyond his years, gets it.
"A lot of people think Monday is really sad because it's the start of the week and everyone loves Friday," Robert says, "and he turns on some music so we can get the energy going again."
It's simple, Caddell says.
"We can either give them a gas station hot dog or we can give them Cheesecake Factory ... It's a sin to make school boring," he says.
But it's not just about having fun.
"One of the wisest things I've ever heard is kids that are loved at home come to school to learn and kids that aren't come to school to be loved," Caddell said. "And for me as a teacher and for all of the staff, that's an incredible responsibility,"
And it starts on Mondays.