Homecoming is a time of celebration for many high school communities. It is a time to welcome alumni back to campus and a chance for students, educators, and their families to celebrate their school pride.
Traditionally, homecoming festivities often include pep rallies, parades, football games, dances, and the coronation of a homecoming king and queen. With a little creativity, though, school leaders can take the homecoming experience to the next level by planning a week full of school pride and community connection that will leave a lasting impression.
Turn the traditional “Spirit Week” into “The Spirit of Giving Week.”
Go beyond the familiar with daily dress-up themes like pajama day, crazy hair day, and school colors day. In addition, consider holding a week-long class competition to raise money for a local charity.
Students can incorporate school spirit into the fundraising by selling or auctioning off spirit gear or hosting a spirit-themed bake sale with cookies and cakes decorated with school colors or shaped like the school mascot. The class that raises the most money gets to present charity leaders with the donation before the homecoming football game.
Let the spirit seep into the classroom.
Encourage teachers to find ways to incorporate school pride into their regular lesson plans for the week. Social studies teachers might task students with mapping the history of the school. Math teachers can create word problems involving the school’s football players, homecoming court, or school administrators. English teachers can craft creative writing assignments asking students to tell a fictional story about how the school mascot came to be or write a poem in honor of their school.
Host a student activity fair.
Invite representatives from each student club, group, and team to set up a table display in the gymnasium or cafeteria before, during, or after the school day. Students can stop by to get more information about a wide variety of activities to get involved in with their peers.
Pit the students against the teachers.
All in good fun, of course. Organize a game of basketball, flag football, or kickball in which students get to compete against teachers. Those who don’t play will enjoy rooting on their team from the sidelines. The winning team gets to march in the homecoming parade at the end of the week.
Keep the party going at night.
Plan evening activities to keep students and their families, as well as neighbors, coming back to the school for fun and celebration. Talent shows, game nights, movie nights, and student art shows are all ways to bring the school community together in a positive way to cultivate school pride.
What are you doing in your district?