we are DEFINING "SCHOOL SPIRIT" FOR STUDENTS OF COLOR
The definition of the concept "school spirit" is typically expressed by the display of loud cheers and the enormous attendance at a school event. However, how does that translate into understanding the connection which students of color have (especially) to their predominantly white institutions, especially when their presence is not so dominant? In order to address the challenges that students of color have faced and continue to face during their overall academic experience, we must first explore some of the factors that influence and give a more vivid example of what school spirit looks like for students. We have narrowed down and continue to dedicate our research in exploring these three areas: Involvement, inspiration and inclusion in order to better make a connection between schools and students of color in order to ensure a more positive overall academic experience. How we define the 3 key elements of school spirit:
It is the myth and the stereotype that students of color do not wish to be involved in the culture of independent schools. There are many factors as to why this assumption exists. Involvement is sometimes limited due to where students live, cultural difference and cultural cycles that have been in existence for many years. In exploring the culture of the level of involvement students have in their schools, we have conducted research of students of color who are graduates of independent schools.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Obtaining a good education does not necessarily equate to having an overall pleasant academic experience. Contrary to the myths of students of color in predominantly white schools, the challenges are not necessarily academic. The challenges stem from a lack of a connection to the community. When a person envisions what an overall pleasant academic experience should look like, it typically is not translated into a place where one does not feel connected (especially in a place where one spends the majority of their time as a child). Check out one of our networking groups.
In School Spirit was to initially offer support and resources to the current and former minority student body who are affiliated with but not limited to private schools. However, we know that all students can benefit from the supplemental support that we are committed to providing. We believe that students in independent schools who are in the minority need the additional reassurance that they can feel: "Included", "Inspired" and "Involved". Being able to connect students of color from different academic settings, allows for resources to be shared, communities to be challenged and for students to grow and to be more well rounded.
For minority students especially, it can sometimes be a challenge to feel connected to your educational environments. Independent School Spirit's goal as an organization is to help support all students emotionally and intellectually via networking initiatives to ensure a more well-rounded overall academic experience.