By Sienna Lee (Class of 2015)
Spirit Week, an annual happening featuring exciting events, competition and community outreach, has been a New Hope-Solebury high school tradition for 17 years. For five days during the last week of February, the school is divided into a “Blue Team” (seniors and freshmen), and a “Gold Team” (juniors and sophomores), and the winner is determined by points, which can be earned by participating in events and making donations.
Students of all grades celebrated the week by dressing up for school according to different themes each day, such as “Hawaiian Shirt Monday” and “Wacky Wednesday.” Nighttime events were also held after school as a way to accumulate Spirit Week points, including a luau-themed pig roast and a dodge ball tournament. The gatherings helped bring students together in an extracurricular setting and enhance school spirit.
On Friday, the last day of Spirit Week, the Blue vs. Gold athletic games were held, and Blue won. For the graduating class of 2015, this was a particularly important win, as they are now the first class ever to win Spirit Week for all four years of their time in high school. However, the most important thing about Spirit Seek was not winning, but bringing students together to celebrate the spirit of our incredibly close-knit school community.
Students had the opportunity to bring in canned food to be donated to food pantries in the Bucks County area. They could also bring in donations in the form of coins, to be donated to Pennies for Progress. These competitions added an element of friendly competition, while encouraging students to help local families in need.
Student government set a goal of raising 5,000 pounds of cans for this year, which was far surpassed with a total of 8,353 pounds of food raised — extremely successful compared to last year’s 2400 pounds. The school also raised $2,622 in coins for Pennies for Progress. Again, this dramatically exceeded last year’s total of $660. The competition to raise cans and coins seemed more intense this year than ever before.
The students and faculty of NH-S are extremely proud of the impact that Spirit Week had on both students of our school and the larger community. Mr. Gonsiewski, the student government advisor, commented, “With the donations to the greater community, I’m humbled by the food and money brought to people in need.” Principal Malone agreed, saying, “The raising of over 8,000 lbs of food is astonishing. The community is thankful for working with them in that capacity, and stocking their shelves.”
Now that Spirit Week is over, the team identity among “Blue” and “Gold” students has disappeared, and the school is one again. Although the five days of friendly competition flew by, the impact on the community will be long-lasting.