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By Yessica Garcia, AmeriCorps Member, Harvard Pilgrim and Riverstone Co-Sponsored Team, 
Serving at Beech Street Elementary School 

The expression “school spirit” leads us to imagine cheerleaders, loud students, and vibrant school colors, but there is so much more to it. Although cheerleaders and vibrant school colors do represent school spirit, it is important to also recognize other aspects such as teamwork, inclusivity, unity, and perseverance. These are all factors that encompass school spirit and pride. Next time you walk down the halls, look for examples of school pride in action. Pride is the student who works diligently on his math homework and spirit is the student who is dedicated and comes to school every day. But how do you recognize everybody’s efforts of school spirit and pride? Though students have the power to positively display school spirit and pride it is also important for corps members, teachers and staff members in the school to role model positive behaviors. It is important to take the time and step away from the academics and have fun with the students; greet them and be silly.

At Beech, the City Year team places an emphasis on school spirit through organizing Bobcat Rallies. Bobcat Rallies happen once a month throughout the school year. During every Bobcat Rally, as a team, we recognize an outstanding citizen from each grade. The students are chosen if they are able to uphold the four school rules for a month: be respectful, be responsible, be caring and be safe.

This month we focused on “Why We Love Beech School." This gave students the opportunity to reflect on their experience in school. During the rally, we highlighted the values of teamwork, inclusivity, and unity. These characteristics were displayed in a short video that featured students and teachers. The rally provided the opportunity for students and staff to see our City Year team work together. Overall, school spirit and pride allows the Beech Elementary School community to recognize and appreciate one another, and Bobcat Rallies allow us to do so.

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