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Spirit Tailgate

A survey to parents sparked the idea for a spirit raising school celebration

Miscommunication and misunderstanding strongly suggest the need for trust building. We wanted to capture the attention of our families in a way that was novel, while also better acquainting them with our school, staff, and school life. The Spirit Tailgate was designed to be fun, informative and encourage relationship building and a sense of community.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
January 2024
We hope that families continue to engage with the school community and attend events. We are all here for the students and together we can accomplish more.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

We wanted to try something new that would capture the attention of our families and educators and remind us all that relationship building among us is a valuable part of creating school success and wellbeing for our children. The more ease we have between us and the richer our conversations, the better we can tackle issues that concern us and also sustain that which goes well in the district.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Over a number of meetings, our team mulled over ideas for strengthening family-school
engagement. With our mini-grant from Kidsburgh, we decided upon a small school
spirit tailgate prior to one of our home varsity football games that would recognize our
youth players and cheerleaders. The team’s tailgate not only offered typical fun such as
burgers, hotdogs, and corn hole, but also included booths with information about our
school where families could get questions answered or get help with their child's online
account to monitor attendance and grades. A two for one! Families also could get help
to obtain required clearances to volunteer at school events, address tech needs, and
learn about our Federal Programs, curriculum and the Parent Teacher Organization. A
fun activity was the opportunity to design our own mini pennant flag to cheer on our
football team.

How has it been spreading?

We have our traditional Parent Teacher Organization that meets monthly to plan activities and fundraisers. We also have a fall and spring federal programs parent meeting. It is still up in the air if the Spirit Tailgate event will be conducted next year (the financial support of Parents as Allies was a huge help to conduct this event).

If I want to try it, what should I do?

In terms of an event like the Spirit Tailgate, we advise that you spread the word early and often about the event. Importantly, reach out for help. It can be a heavy lift for a few people. A team of committed volunteers makes it easier and spreads the satisfaction when the event succeeds and brings more perspectives to the conversation should it not.

Spread of the innovation

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