Group of 7 student leaders in the gym, pose for photo Wildcat Wednesdays - South Poplar

Wildcat Wednesdays transform school spirit at South Poplar Traditional Elementary

February 20, 2024

Wildcat Wednesday has become a new tradition at South Poplar Traditional Elementary school, fostering a sense of community and belonging among students, staff, and parents. This monthly assembly, centred around celebrating achievements, inclusivity, and the school's collective spirit, draws attention to its innovative approach to expanding school culture.

The initiative, which initially grew from discussions around the school's dress code, has evolved into a monthly event. From kindergarten to grade 5, students have enthusiastically embraced Wildcat Wednesday, recognizing it as a day to celebrate various aspects of school life - from birthdays of the month to spirit wear, classroom achievements, and so much more.

"Wildcat Wednesday is more than an assembly; it's a celebration of who we are, what we've accomplished, and where we're headed as a community," said Shannon Manky, Principal of South Poplar Traditional Elementary. "It's a testament to our commitment to creating an environment where every student feels valued and included. Our students and staff take great pride in preparing for and participating in Wildcat Wednesdays. Seeing our school come together to learn and grow is fun, exciting, and deeply meaningful."

Each Wildcat Wednesday focuses on a theme, such as gratitude, respect for self and others, or inclusivity, challenging the school community to embody these values. The introduction of the Wildcat T-shirt, reflecting the school’s mascot, as part of the school uniform has been a unifying element inspired by student, staff and family feedback.

When asked about the significance of Wildcat Wednesday, some student leaders didn't hesitate to voice their perspectives. "It's a day we celebrate our unity with wildcat t-shirts," one student remarked. Another added, "It's about acknowledging our school's achievements." The sentiment of belonging was echoed by many, with another noting, "It's a reminder that we all matter." Yet, at its core, Wildcat Wednesday represents a learning opportunity, "It's about coming together to learn new things."

Through Wildcat Wednesday, South Poplar Traditional Elementary demonstrates the power of community engagement in the educational experience, proving that schools can significantly impact students' sense of belonging and self-worth by collectively commemorating their identity and achievements.