A new student group at Prairie High School (PHS) known as the “Crimson Crew” is helping to transform the school’s culture one act of kindness at a time. The Crimson Crew is a student-led school spirit group that organized a wide variety of activities intended to show love, support and appreciation for their peers, teachers and community members in the Battle Ground Public Schools district.
“Saint Francis of Assisi said, ‘For it is in giving that we receive,’ and I can’t think of a more succinct guiding principle for the Crimson Crew,” said Jason Castro, Prairie’s athletic director and one of the staff members most heavily involved in the formation of the group. “We have a phenomenal group of students, and I am so proud of how the Crimson Crew has taken off and is helping to give back and foster a positive atmosphere around campus.”
The Crimson Crew spends its time handing out high fives and candy in hallways to spread joy among students as well as writing and collecting handwritten messages of appreciation from students to place in teachers’ inboxes. They show up at school sporting events and performances that are typically low on spectators and cheer like die-hard fanatics. The Crimson Crew also stays late to clean up the bleachers after football games and help middle schools deliver anti-bullying messages.
The Crimson Crew evolved from a school-wide initiative that started last February called “Inspire Week” as a part of a national program called “Dude Be Nice.” After a highly successful inaugural campaign, many of the students from last year’s Inspire Week returned this year to form a more permanent student group, the Crimson Crew. Since then, the ideas have continued to expand and Prairie High School will have three Inspire Weeks this year.
“With Inspire Week and the Crimson Crew, our hope is that we can set an example for students who are not just going through the motions, living day-by-day to go home, get our homework done, wake up and do it all over again,” 10th-grader Kyah Hamsley said in the release. “We are coming together to spread joy, kindness and unity, and we want to inspire students to spend these four years making a difference in the lives of their peers and teachers. We’re super excited to steer our school culture toward love and to help break the norms and stereotypical image of high school.”