Five Creative Ways to Encourage School Spirit
Posted by Stumps Spirit on September 14, 2011
Whether you’re planning Spirit Week or just want to boost school spirit for a good year, finding creative ways to encourage school spirit will get students more engaged and excited about their school’s activities and sports. Stumps Spirit has a huge variety of school spirit supplies and tips. Here are five creative ways to encourage school spirit:
1. Dress up your doorways. A welcoming display of school spirit when students arrive at school will set the tone for the rest of the day. Use personalized vinyl banners to display your school name, mascot, and a spirit message. You can also use decorative arches and columns to make a really bold entryway. Set up the arches to decorate for the build-up to Spirit Week or another big event.
Make decorating the doorways a competition. Have representatives of each class draw up proposals for what the entrance should look like, or have open submissions so anyone can enter a design. If you have multiple high-traffic entrances to your building, have each class decorate a doorway or hallway and have a committee of faculty judges pick a winner. Students will enjoy getting creative with flat paper, paint, banners, and other spirit decorating materials and their investment in the decorating is sure to boost school spirit.
2. Incentives & Awards. Simply offering incentives for students to participate in school spirit events can boost student activity. If you have themed dress-up days during Spirit Week hand out small favors, such as funtoos, beads, mini sportsballs, or other personalized fan gear to students who participate. If you’re on a budget, you can hand them out randomly as students arrive. Just the opportunity to receive a participation prize encourages students to take part. You can also offer the incentives periodically to students who wear school colors on game days, or for pep rallies. Keeping the incentives random can keep students participating!
3. Glow with school spirit! A glow-in-the-dark theme will get students really excited for your next pep rally. Host your pep rally indoors in the school gym. At the doors, handout glowsticks, glow necklaces, or other glow-in-the-dark spirit items. Use glow-in-the-dark paint to make banners to decorate your gym. Once students are seated, dim or turn off the lights. The gym will really glow when each student has a glow stick or necklace! This pep rally makes a fun surprise to get students excited about an upcoming event. Make sure you take safety precautions and have plenty of faculty on-hand with flashlights to prevent accidents.
4. T-Shirt Design / Slogan Contest. Get students involved in displaying their school spirit by holding a contest to design your school spirit shirt for the year. Offer a free t-shirt for the winning student and ten of his or her friends as a prize and take entries for shirt designs for your school year or for a specific sport season. Once the winning design is chosen, have custom t-shirts printed and sell them as a fundraiser.
As an alternative, have a contest for writing a slogan for your school year. Offer a prize, like season tickets, a concession stand gift certificate, or spirit gear to the student whose slogan gets the most votes. You can then use the slogan on your posters and spirit banners and have your cheerleaders incorporate it in a cheer.
5. Start your own tradition. Have students come up with their own new idea to boost spirit. Form a committee to write a new school song. Have a competition to write new cheers for the homecoming game. If your mascot, or mascot costume, is getting dated, have a whole-school vote to pick a new one. Have students invent new theme days for spirit week. Just because you’ve always or never done something, doesn’t mean you can’t change. If students are involved in forming a new tradition at your school, they’ll feel more ownership in their school spirit.