Rethinking School Spirit Days

It is important to bring students together as a community and create a school atmosphere infused with enthusiasm & pride.  When I was in high school, we had pep rallies.  In recent years, these pep rallies have been extended to days and weeks of activities.  Students go to school with crazy hair, wear their clothes backward and find a friend to dress as “twins.”  One friend recently told me that her 9 year old daughter’s school told the students to bring their favorite stuffed animal to spend the day with them.  She asked me a good question – What does this have to do with school spirit or community?

We can involve our students with their school and with each other for a greater purpose than searching their closets for their favorite mismatched clothes.  Let’s create school spirit by having the students work together to contribute to their communities.  In a world filled with an ever increasing amount of violence, let’s purposefully bring our youth together to do good deeds.  Community service shouldn’t always be optional.  It shouldn’t only be for members of clubs.  It shouldn’t only be a response to an emergency.  Community service should take place at time when we do it for its own sake and not as a temporary reaction to a hurricane or a shooting.   It should be a part of our curriculum and a means to bond together. 

Students can take pride in their school as they all spend a week focusing on feeding the hungry, preserving our environment or making things for sick children.  Imagine the school pride when they collect a gym full of canned goods and welcome people from the local food bank to present what they’ve amassed.  There can be activities to appeal to everyone – creating things, collecting things and participating in fundraising walkathons or sports activities.  The students will learn what it is to have a greater purpose.  They will have had a chance to give to the world as an entire group.  They will have had fun while accomplishing.  And when all of the community based, outreach activities are done, the student body can come together for that pep rally.  


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  1. As a former teacher, this was an interesting article. Though you make some interesting points concerning "school spirit," the examples you provide are not the norm. As far as community service, it depends on the school and the neighborhood. For example, poorer schools who have 90% free reduced lunch can't afford to give a lot away.

    One other point is that schools are under a tremendous amount of pressure to raise test scores. While doing community service is noble, it doesn't help with the nationally/state/local mandated cause. Anyone could argue the test score dilemma; but it's reality at the present time.

    I really liked your can good idea and having an assembly to watch it picked up. I have seen this done before and it is very cool!

    1. Just because something is not the norm now doesn't mean it can't become the norm. Poorer schools can write notes to people in hospitals, welcome students with needs. Wouldn't it be something for children who live in poorer areas to meet their peers who struggle with hearing or vision impairment?
      I also believe that we need to balance the desire to prepare for tests with the reality of preparing for life - but that's another soap box.


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