Can a simple lapel pin help engage students?

Where did August go?  All of a sudden I’m driving to work and seeing groups of kids at the street corners waiting for their buses to arrive, backpacks slung over their shoulders.  It feels like just yesterday those same kids were loading up the local public pools, nursing sunburns and waging water gun fights. 

It got me thinking that school is more than just an educational institution, though that is obviously at the crux of its purpose.  It also engages its students in all sorts of activities, from creative to athletic, and should work to create a sense of community for the whole student body, no matter what their personal interests are.  And I think that’s where things like school mascot pins and academic pins come in handy. 

Feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself is one of the toughest challenges school-age kids deal with, and little reminders in the form of pins that they are a valuable member of the student body can pull someone from the outside, in.  And achievement pins, especially for kids not in sports, which normally provide lots of decoration for achievement, can bolster some personal pride in these kids. 

All in all, I think there’s something to be said for team spirit and personal pride, something that isn’t hard to foster, and something that could use some more attention in today’s public school environment.

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