Spirit Matters

According to recent research released by Varsity Brands, students with higher levels of school spirit perform better academically, are more civically engaged and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.

Building and retaining school spirit are important factors in a school’s success. Here are six recommendations to help maximize spirit in schools:

  1. Promote the positive. Assemblies and school dress-out days can be used throughout the year, not just on homecoming or field days. These can be used to promote non sporting related activities as well. These impromptu gatherings can energize students and staff alike.
  2. Reward readily. Whether it’s recognizing the swim team captain for making the honor roll, celebrating choir or band performances or offering a note thanking a student for their input, creative ways to bestow small gestures of appreciation for personal and team achievement can bolster school spirit across the student body.
  3. Encourage parental involvement. Actively involved parents raise more involved students. Look for more ways for parents to get easily plugged in to school activities to encourage family participation.
  4. Community engagement. Students that are more engaged and connected to their communities can be ambassadors for the school and take their pride off-campus. Encourage students to become involved in community organizations and spread their school pride.
  5. School spirit and pride go hand in hand. Students responded with a consistent voice that spirit means having pride in their school. Place an emphasis on school achievements, history and lore to further drive a sense of pride in the institution.
  6. Spirit sets the stage for success. Research indicates that students with self-reported higher levels of school spirit have greater aspirations for success. Creating a culture of spirit in the school can help students achieve later in life.

The complete findings are available in the White Paper — School Spirit: the Connection
between Student Achievement, Involvement and Confidence.