Ways to Increase School Spirit During Homecoming

Whitney P. Gordon
Whitney P. Gordon
Special Education and English teacher; Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership, Thomas University, GA
Word homecoming on a white background.

Homecoming is a high school tradition that dates to the 19th century. As the culture of our secondary schools has evolved over time, homecoming dances, athletic games, and other festivities have remained a staple that is steeped in good old-fashioned school spirit. Since homecoming heavily relies on school spirit, it is important for schools to cultivate a sense of pride amongst the student body.

Why School Spirit is Important

Investing in school spirit is important because it fosters an atmosphere of unity in a school. It influences students to take pride in their school and appreciate the common ground they share. Beyond the surface effects of sizable game-day crowds and boisterous pep rallies, school spirit is a foundation for a positive learning environment and school culture. Students are more willing to work hard and exhibit upright citizenship when they believe in their school.

How to Boost School Spirit for Homecoming

Homecoming is the perfect opportunity to build school spirit and have fun in the process. Here are some ideas that can help maximize student spirit for your next homecoming.

Choose a Trending Theme

Choosing the right homecoming theme is crucial. Classic themes like “masquerade” and “under the sea” can be fun, but choosing a fresh, culturally relevant theme will garner more support from students. Research what is trending amongst teenagers and allow your student government to facilitate the theme selection process. Allow the student body to vote on the theme to cultivate a sense of ownership.

Class Competitions

Nothing promotes school spirit like healthy competition. Creating competition between the grade levels in your school can make homecoming week more exciting. One idea is to have a penny war. In a penny war, the class who collects the most pennies wins, but there’s a catch. Rival classes can place higher-valued coins into the receptacle for another class to subtract from their penny count. For example, if a sophomore puts a nickel in the senior bucket, the seniors forfeit five pennies.

Uniting for a Cause

In a day and age when technology prevails, one positive is that kindness has repeatedly gone viral. Our students are familiar with the idea of uniting for a cause, and homecoming is a great time to do this as a school. Find a local charity that students can support in their community or find national or international program. Be sure to solicit student input about what issues matter to them.

Involve Feeder Schools

If you’re looking for a homecoming spirit boost that features longevity, this is it. Homecoming should be a community event, and feeder schools are a part of your community. Get your feeder schools involved by involving your students in a homecoming fall festival or pep rally for your feeder school. Make this an annual event. Imagine the school spirit those students will possess as the matriculate up to high school!

Homecoming is a memorable experience for students. With intentional planning, it can spark a wave of school spirit that maintains throughout the year.

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