Do you love your school? Do you like to support your fellow students in all that they do? Do you cheer on your sports teams when they take on rival schools? Do you go to see the plays and musical performances put on by your school's drama, choir, and band departments? How about your school's academic teams? Do you root them on in competitions?

If you answered “Yes!" to any of these questions, then you definitely have school spirit. School spirit simply refers to the emotional support you show for your school. From elementary and middle schools to high schools and universities, school spirit can be found in many forms.

For example, some people show their school spirit by dressing up in their school colors. Others attend games and competitions to support their friends and fellow students. Sometimes school spirit takes the form of loudly cheering from the sidelines.

Some groups exist purely to show school spirit. Cheerleaders work hard to develop dance and cheer routines that will fire up the crowd at sporting events. Their every action embodies school spirit. Likewise, pep bands might assemble to play music during events to encourage the crowd to cheer as loudly as possible.

One way to get school spirit stirred up is known as a pep rally. For example, on a Friday afternoon prior to a big game, a school might hold a pep rally in the gymnasium. All the students will assemble to watch cheerleaders perform and hear from players and coaches. A band might even play the school fight song to get students excited.

Not only are pep rallies a lot of fun, but they get the entire student body fired up and filled with school spirit. If a pep rally is really successful, it will spill over into the excitement of the game, with lots of students in attendance cheering boisterously for their school's team.

Some student groups take school spirit one step further. A few years ago, National School Spirit Day was started as a way to demonstrate some of the ways in which cheerleaders and dance squads can make a difference in their schools and communities.

Not only can these students encourage school spirit within the school's walls, they can also be positive examples in their communities. Beyond simply doing cheers, these students can be mentors, fundraisers, and community service leaders.

The goal of National School Spirit Day is to encourage groups of cheerleaders and dancers to complete at least four hours of community service in the weeks leading up to National School Spirit Day each year. You can get more information about how to organize events and report your hours at the National School Spirit Day website.

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