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Raising School Spirit

Aug 20, 2007
The Pep Rally is one of the most effective activities in moulding school spirit and school loyalty. It also instills various elements of sportsmanship into the student body and has a definite part in a secondary school curriculum. For this reason a Pep Rally should be much more than a "Yell Practice" session.

The cheerleaders have a big responsibility in arousing school spirit and good sportsmanship in their school's athletic contests. It is their responsibility to instill in the students a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to their school; to increase the attendance at the school athletic contests and obtain the School Spirit.

Campaigns of different types to "Boost School Spirit" can be constantly planned and carried out during the week preceding games. Planning such days designated as "Color Days," when each student is urged to wear the school colors on them somewhere, to show that they are boosting the team; "Slogan Days" where students say an adopted slogan, such as "Smear the Bears" instead of "Hello," and say the slogan every time they meet someone in the hall, on the street, when they answer the telephone, answering the roll, etc. are two good examples.

The slogan is the first thing that they say when they start to speak and then go on with what they were planning to say. The result, one hears all over school that whole day, "Smear the Bears," "Smear the Bears," etc. all day long.

Any fad, mode of dress, wearing one sock up, one down, a scarf, one earring for girls, a handkerchief hanging out the back pocket for boys, etc., could be done for one day to "hex" the other team. Burning a candle the night before the game, etc., or any other thing that might be dreamed up might be used as a means to create a little feeling for the coming game. Signs placed around the school with various slogans, cartoons, depicting what you hope to do at the game, advertising the rally, etc., also help.

The Rally itself is the time and place where most of the very well planned activities could take place. This is the time new yells can be taught to the student body, members of the team identified to the student body, fiery pep talks given, some stunts, or a skit presented, songs, cheers, etc., molding the student body into one large united group pledging themselves to support the team and help them win.

The pep rally is the climax of the week's campaign and the final session before the big game, and it should be planned in every detail so as to be fitting for such a place in the overall program.

The yells should be rehearsed so that everyone knows the words, and also just as important, the rhythm to yell them in. The use of sound effect cheers, "big noise" cheers where there is a loud yell, complete silence for a beat or so, and then another loud response, can make a cheering section sound very good. These points can and should be stressed at the rally so the students will know how to respond at the game.

The Pep Rally is one of the cheerleaders' best weapons against lax, or subdued school spirit, and the best use of this time should be utilized. The rally need not last for too long a time, 20 minutes is ample to do a great deal if every minute is planned. This way the rally will not drag in spots as is the usual case when the cheerleaders have to "kill" 45 minutes or an hour with pep rally activities. Make the rally short and to the point and inspiring key them up but don't wear them out.

The Pep Rally is also a good time to remind the student body about sportsmanship; but the cheerleaders should be careful to not "preach" to them, for this sometimes ruins the whole desired effect of the Rally.

These are just some of the ways the spirit of the school can be raised. Try one of them!
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