The concept behind spirit sticks distributed to students in elementary school revolves around motivation. Students receive spirit sticks for achievements in and out of the classroom, including perfect attendance, high score on a test, gestures of strong character, and good behavior in the hallways or classroom. Students can also earn spirit sticks for helping fellow classmates; meeting a fundraising goal, such as collecting box tops or tabs that earn the school money; or excelling in athletics or physical education classes.
Students can collect spirit sticks and place them on a key chain, or they can use them as bookmarks in their textbooks or favorite novels. The purpose of the sticks is to help students work toward a goal, gain a sense of accomplishment and put their best efforts on display.
Students can decorate spirit sticks, or the school can purchase them from local or online retailers to use as incentives in the classroom. The sticks can be solid colors or include graphics that represent the activity, such as a music note for exceptional band students or a math equation for a student who excels in math. Teachers and administrators can also opt to have the school's name, mascot or logo imprinted on spirit sticks so that students have memorabilia representing the school.