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Virtual Spirit: Sheffield Students Get Creative To Celebrate Christmas

Sheffield's Sydney Barr

SHEFFIELD, Pa. – A little something like going to virtual learning wasn’t going to stop students at Sheffield from the annual school-wide spirit week. 

Instead, they decided to go virtual themselves, with students sending in photos and sharing them on the school’s SAMHS Facebook page and the Sheffield Area Elementary School Facebook page. 

“Christmas Spirit Week is something that my high school Student Council has been sponsoring for years,” said Student Council Advisor Sarah Connolly. “It’s something that the kids (and the teachers) look forward to participating in before the holiday break.”

Monday and Tuesday were Christmas PJ Day and Hat Day, respectively. The schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:

Wednesday – Color War Day – girls wear red and boys wear green

Thursday – New Year’s Eve Attire Day – dress to impress

Friday – Ugly Sweater Day

Sheffield’s Andrew Kyler

“Before the schools shut down, Student Council had come up with the list for this year and created posters to hang up and everything, Connolly said. “We also usually do a door decorating contest and our annual ‘Hanging of the Greens’ – areas of the school are divided up by grade level and we decorate the whole school.”

When school went virtual, they pivoted. 

“When we couldn’t do any of these things, I decided to make it a ‘virtual’ spirit week instead,” Connolly said. “I contacted Mrs. (Jessica) Fortner, the principal of the elementary school, and she agreed to make it a whole campus event. Mrs. Lindberg, an elementary teacher, is taking care of posting the spirit days on the Sheffield Area Elementary School Facebook page and I’m doing the posting on the SAMHS page. Each day, the students or parents can post a picture showing they have completed the theme for the day.  And that earns them an entry into the drawing for prizes.”

And the students have bought in, sending in their pictures in earnest. And it goes beyond just them. 

“Additionally, since we couldn’t decorate the school, we told the students that if they decorated the area where they are doing their online learning at home that they would earn an additional entry into the drawing,” Connolly said. “Some of the students have done amazing jobs decorating their backgrounds and it’s great to see in our TEAMS and Zoom meetings. 

“As far as the drawing for prizes, initially, Student Council was going to buy $10 gift cards and draw three winners. But then the Sheffield Elementary PTO and the Academic Boosters Club got involved and, with their generous donations, we now have almost $300 worth of gift cards, along with some Sheffield Christmas ornaments, water bottles, and t-shirts.” 

It’s all about students getting involved and still feeling that Christmas cheer in school, even if they can’t be there physically.

Alyssa Dunham

“I wanted to give the students something to participate in, even if they aren’t physically in school,” Connolly said. “And we all could use some extra Christmas spirit right now, so Spirit Week was my way of spreading a little holiday cheer.”

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