Valley Intermediate School students learned valuable lessons during their annual Spirit Week, most importantly that no regardless of whether you yell “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle”, you should always do in the spirit of good sportsmanship. The school’s annual Spirit Week, held November 20-26, gave students the opportunity to root for their favorite team, but also gave the teachers the opportunity to teach some valuable character education lessons.
“This year, our school became a Leader in Me School,” said Principal Dana Martin. “So we wanted to take our Spirit Week and turn it into a way to stress a few of the Seven Habits, such as Habit 3 – Think Win-Win, and Habit 6 – Synergize.”
This year, the entire week was turned over student leadership teams to help plan and organize. The students came up with the week’s themes, which included: Our Team is a Dynasty (dress as favorite Duck Dynasty cast member or in camoflague); Be a Good Sport, Don’t Be Tacky (dress in tacky clothes); I’m Dreaming of a Victory (dress in pajamas); Our Team has Character (dress as favorite book character); Show Your Team Spirit (dress in favorite school colors).
“We really wanted to turn this into a ‘win-win’ opportunity for our school, so the students also selected charities and we had jars for them to collect money,” said Mrs. Martin. “Alabama students were raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation and Auburn students for the Ronald McDonald House. We also held a canned food drive for Oak Mountain Missions.”
Mrs. Martin said she can tell that being a Leader in Me School has shifted the focus and priority of the week to something more important than a long-standing football rivalry.
“The focus has been off of Alabama and Auburn and it has been on these charities, which helped to promote Habit 6 – Synergize,” said Mrs. Martin.
The event culminates on Tuesday, November 26, with the Alabama versus Auburn Teacher Games. While the games focus on the teachers competing, the students leadership teams again play a big part as emcees and referees.
“It is the most fun we have all year,” said Mrs. Martin. “The teachers participate in a variety of games. The students love it and again we are able to teach about sportsmanship. It is ok to cheer for your team, but don’t ever boo the other team”