Getting Your Child into School Spirit

By: Jolene Roehlkepartain

School spirit is important for helping bring the student body together. Researchers have also found that when kids feel like they belong to a school, the more likely they are to succeed at school. So promote school spirit! As a parent, you can do a lot to help your child get into the school spirit. Read more >

Find out if your child’s school has school colors, a mascot, a school song, or some other identifying mark. Many preschools and a number of elementary schools encourage families to buy school shirts for kids to wear on field trips and school-spirit days. Other schools offer clothes and other items such as notebooks, pencils, and pendants. Learn if your school, a parent group, or a local store sells these items, then take your child shopping.

For school spirit on a budget, head to your local craft store and buy a t-shirt in one of the colors of your school. Then buy fabric paint (or purchase an iron transfer from your school) to decorate it. Buy Rit Dye and dye shoelaces, hair accessories, canvas schools, canvas bags, T-shirts, or other items in school colors. Our seventh grader loved wearing bright orange shoelaces in black tennis shoes along with a bright orange shirt and black shorts (or pants) on school spirit days.

Since we live in a cold climate, we also make no-sew fleece scarves out of school colors. We use two pieces of fleece, one in each of the two school colors. Try this helpful, easy pattern.

Try to promote school spirit by attending as many school events as possible. When our kids were in elementary school, we attended every carnival, concert, science fair, and other school events. Once our kids got to middle school, we asked them which school activities they wanted to attend. One liked going to varsity soccer games. The other liked attending concerts and plays. When our boys’ soccer team went to the state competition, we bought tickets for the whole family and cheered them on.

Follow your child’s lead on how to incorporate school spirit into their lives. One of our kids is more gregarious. He loves all the pep fests, cheers, and other fanfare. Our other kid is more quiet and reserved. He rolls his eyes at hoopla and then quietly steps away from all the noise. So we help him build school spirit by finding aspects of school that he really enjoys and gets excited about, such as art, music, and theater.

We also promote school spirit by subscribing to the high school newspaper. (We also subscribe to the student newspaper at our eldest child’s college.) While this may not seem like an obvious way to build school spirit, the newspaper keeps us informed and helps us start conversations with our kids. We also buy our kids yearbooks and encourage them to look at the various extracurricular activities highlighted each year to see which ones they may be interested in exploring.

No matter what you’re doing to promote school spirit, it’s important that you have fun with it. If you’re having fun, it’s likely that your child is having fun!

Tell Us:——> Do you have spirit? How do you promote school spirit?

1. School Spirit, ParentFurther.

2. 40 Developmental Assets, ParentFurther.

3. Image via Kinslow.Stephanie on Flick’r.

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