Varsity Brands Celebrates 3rd Annual National School Spirit Day on September 9, 2011; More than 200,000 Hours of Community Service Conducted Over Past Two Years
Memphis, TN - According to a recent survey of 1,016 teen girls conducted by Varsity Brands, when concerned about an issue, cheerleaders are more likely than the average teen girl to volunteer (56% vs. 46%) and join an organization within their school (43% vs. 24%).
“While cheerleaders are recognized for spirit-raising activities all year long, they do so much more to benefit their communities and schools,” said Nicole Lauchaire, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications at Varsity Brands. “That’s why Varsity created National School Spirit Day three years ago. It is a great way to honor the accomplishments of cheerleaders and dancers who are making a difference in communities across the country.”
National School Spirit Day celebrates the leadership among cheerleaders and dancers and is meant to shine a spotlight on the character that being on a cheerleading or dance team builds as well as on all that they do to give back to their schools and communities. Cheerleaders and dance teams across the nation have pledged to conduct at least four hours of community service in the week leading up to National School Spirit Day on September 9th.
“It’s great Varsity created National School Spirit Day to get cheerleaders across the country to come together and do something to give back to their communities,” said Kendall Jenner, reality TV star and cheerleader. As part of National School Spirit Day, Jenner and the Costa Mesa Cheerleading Squad volunteered with Meals on Wheels in Santa Monica, CA to deliver healthy meals to those who are homebound. “This day really brings attention to all the incredible things that cheerleaders are doing.”
Cheerleaders can visit the National School Spirit Day website (www.nationalschoolspiritday.com) to pledge their community service and learn more. Some of the service activities taking place this year include:
- In addition to the Meals on Wheels community service with Kendall Jenner, in honor of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, the Costa Mesa Cheerleading Squad is hosting a heroes rally to remember, mourn and never forget. They are raising funds to donate to a 9/11 charity as well as having a collection center to send overseas to troops. Truly a school and community event, it is not just the cheer team donating service time but also the football team and entire community.
- Lady’s Island Middle School cheerleaders are collecting school supplies for the Franciscan Center of St. Helena Island, SC during the week of September 5-9th. The Franciscan Center is an outreach center staffed by approximately 60 volunteers that offers academic assistance, computer training, and adult English language classes to the community.
- Shelby County West Middle School is celebrating National School Spirit Day by having a sleep-over and making hundreds of cards to send overseas to our troops. They are writing customized messages in each card to give our soldiers a little love from home. The cheerleaders feel this is the least they can do for all the hard work and sacrifices our soldiers make for our country.
- The St. Paul’s High School “Bulldogs” are cleaning their community park and the feeder school buses in their community and baking warm cookies to deliver at the local nursing home. In previous years, they have washed cars and cleaned the school buses inside outside for the upcoming Football season. They feel community is what drives them to become better examples in the school.
“Cheerleaders and dancers are doing this year-round in their communities,” said Lauchaire. “National School Spirit Day encourages them to be visible leaders in their communities, and hopefully, inspires others to do the same.”
Taking a closer look at cheerleaders specifically, the Varsity Teen Girl Study also revealed the following:
- Cheerleaders are more likely than the general teen (57% vs. 46%) to hold a leadership position in or out of school; cheerleaders are more likely to be a part of Student Council (33% vs. 25%) and programs connected to the arts than the average teen girl.
- 81% of cheerleaders have grade point averages of 3.5.
- Ninety-three (93) percent of teen girls participate in one or more activities at school.
- 65 percent of high school girls participate in a school sport. The top 10 most popular include track and field, soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, softball, cross country, swimming, cheerleading, and dance team.
- A majority say that playing some type of sport/spirit team generally makes them happier (78%), builds their overall confidence (73%) and helps to relieve stress (69%).
Varsity’s study surveyed 1,016 teen girls ages 13-18 to represent the roughly 14 million teen girls across the United States and sought to find out more about this powerful teen demographic, how they spend their time, how influential they are as a group and where they hold the most power of influence.
Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 300,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.