Who doesn’t remember the perky cheerleaders?
As a true introvert, my high school days were not the days of school spirit for me. It’s not as though I lacked school pride, I just didn’t understand the hype around school spirit or why everyone was wearing the schools brand. Sure, everyone remembers the perky cheerleaders or class president that exuded enthusiasm for the local high school, but I always questioned, “what’s the point?” I’d often wonder, “What does this have to do with my life after high school?” Well as an adult, I understand more about the importance of school spirit not only for students and faculty but for the entire community at large. What I’m about to share may surprise you and challenge your notions surrounding school spirit.
What is school spirit?
The National Federation of State High School Association states, “School spirit” involves a student’s pride in his or her school, a student’s propensity to get other students to be active in school events, and a student’s plans to return to his or her school for special events after graduation.
They went on to say “that students with school spirit perform better academically and are more socially engaged in civic matters and happier in general.”
Wow! I was amazed by this connection between general happiness and academic performance. It seems that school spirit has a direct link between success and failure in real world scenarios. The developmental years during high school and college are clearly central to a person’s character, work ethic and general attitude towards others. How a person views the world they are about to enter into is clearly shaped by these formative years. But I had no idea how important school spirit is to that process.
1500 students surveyed
The Harris Poll group surveyed 1500 students to see what the correlation was between school spirit and overall success. The findings were pretty incredible. They found that 89% of principals support school spirit and can see the direct affect between students involved in sports or events and those that succeed academically. They also found that the school spirit students took more personal responsibility, and struggled with their studies and classmates much less.
The students who were not involved in school activities were overwhelming more susceptible to not doing well, blaming others and state “they don’t care”. Even something as simple as wearing spirit wear was proven to improve the mood of the students and help them stay more engaged and feel more connected.
51% of students who were involved in activity programs such as sports, clubs and school sporting events did so because they wanted to be involved in their school.
The survey also revealed a sense of community and camaraderie that was deemed healthy and allowed students to have more confidence. This support proved instrumental in reducing isolation and depression. Unfortunately students who did not care about school spirit, were far more likely to struggle in all areas of school and personal relationships.
School Spirit Stores On The Rise
Principals all over the country are beginning to take notice of the direct connection between school spirit wear and the success of their students. As a result school spirit stores are becoming common place among American high schools.
A school spirit store is an online store where parents and students can purchase a wide variety of school spirit apparel with their local school logo and colors. Many companies like Your Official Gear are leading the way in helping provide shirts, hats, jerseys, duffel bags, water bottles, stadium seats and hand towels. Each item features the school logo and colors printed or embroidered onto them.
The spirit store items also double as fundraising opportunities for the school and a convenient place for spirit items to be purchased at discount.
Another fun option for building school spirit is on-site events where a mini print shop is set up at your school for a special event. They are super fun and allow students and parents to buy custom made spirit wear right on the spot in real time. A few companies are beginning to offer this service. Your Official Gear recently partnered with USA softball in the Boise area with an on-site event that was a huge success.
Spirit wear makes a difference
There is no doubt that school spirit is a foundational component to the success of todays students and faculty. Partnering with the right sports apparel company can make all the difference in providing students, parents and faculty with the spirit wear that will set them up to succeed in school and in life.