Are You Using Spirit Wear Like This?
Updated: May 26
When it comes to schools or organizations, each has a unique vision, values, mascot, and school colors. This sets them apart from other schools and forms the basis of the school community. Celebration and support of this vision are often done via special events and special apparel - spirit wear! We have put together the five ways schools and parent teacher groups can use spirit wear.
Boost morale by designating a day to wear spirit wear. Whether Friday, Monday, or a monthly date, you can get the whole school to rally with a spirit wear day. Not only does the flood of school colors across campus or Facebook instill a sense of cohesion, but it also reminds everyone of the school’s mission and values and celebrates their fantastic community.
2. Commemoration of a Special Event
School spirit wear can be a nice touch in commemorating a special milestone. It allows the celebration beyond a single day (or year). Here are some great milestones that deserve a special shirt, pants, sweatshirt, or hat:
School’s milestone anniversary (e.g., 25th, 50th, 100th)
Celebrating the graduating class (consider including sashes and badges)
Welcoming incoming class
School reunions (e.g., shout out to all our 1996 grads)
3. Thank Yous
Whether you’re thanking volunteers of an event, the teachers, or recent PTA members, a t-shirt or hat can be a powerful tool. If you’re thanking event volunteers, sharing the item before the event allows everyone to wear matching gear. If you thank them after the fact, they get a special reminder of their good deed or decision to support a cause.
4. Encouraging community engagement
It is critically important to have an engaged community. As discussed in our September 2020 webinar on building school culture, positive school morale and an engaged community can lead to better academic results. Aside from engagement by wearing spirit wear, you can also engage your community by getting them involved in creating the spirit wear! The first method is the simplest: shirt signings. Shirt signings can be paired with commemorative or event-driven spirit wear and are exactly what they sound like a time to add extra flare to your spirit wear by having a group of people sign your spirit wear. For example, you can set aside a time when teachers will be available to sign the graduates’ spirit wear shirts and a parting message as kind wishes for the future. The students can preserve those shirts as a memory of their institution and the outstanding faculty contributing to their success.
The second method is to get people involved through spirit wear contests. These fun multi-week events can bring out the creative side of your school community. We have written a more detailed post about this, but the concept is simple: ask your community to design a shirt. This gets their creative juices flowing and can motivate people to select a winner through voting.
We would be remiss in not mentioning one of the primary reasons most schools sell spirit wear - to fund enhancement activities for their students. When you want to gather money for a particular event or just dollars towards the general fund, there is no doubt that spirit wear can generate anywhere from $200 to over $2000 if you maximize your fundraising efforts. Since buyers know they support a good cause, it also satisfies them to know their purchases support the community.
There are many ways to leverage spirit wear in your school community. These are our top 5, but we would appreciate hearing from you. Drop us a line with your pictures or ideas on our Facebook page. If you’re in charge of spirit wear for your school, you can check out The Multipurpose Room podcast episode about being a spirit wear chair for some tips on where to start.