Impact Now

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Impact Now
Varsity Brands’ Impact Now Program Helps Spirit Groups Perform “Together as One”

Empowerment journals, videos, and safety signage elevate students’ emotional and physical well-being.

“Hope for America,” the closing piece from Varsity Performing Arts’ new field show, “Together as One – One Nation” debuted on Aug. 8 during the Drum Corps International (DCI) virtual “MarchOn!” telethon.

The downloadable 6-minute show, complete with a score, choreography, drill, and more will be available for free for two years, accommodating groups that resume this fall or those on hiatus until the 2021-2022 school year.

“Not only is [the pandemic] a health issue but [also] an economic one,” says Ben Schroeder, manager of Varsity Performing Arts. “We wanted to provide a resource for as many music programs as possible.”

The field show is part of Varsity Brands’ new Impact Now program, which features a series of resources—from student journals to customizable face masks—for schools starting a new academic year in the pandemic.

Together as One

Varsity Performing Arts worked with DCI, United Sound, and the National Federation of State High School Associations to compose and choreograph the “Together as One” performance. The downloadable music includes two options for the opener, two options for the second song, and “Hope for America” as the closer. That way, Schroeder says, not every school’s performance would be identical, but all programs would end on the same song.

The show brings together different school ensembles. The second movement features cheerleaders and dance teams while the third movement has options for choirs and orchestras to participate. “The intent is to bring back that sense of connectivity,” says Bill Seely, president of Varsity Spirit. “Everyone has gone through this pandemic with a unique kind of lens.”

Interested schools can register on Varsity’s website at varsity.com to receive all of the materials for the show.

The Mission of Impact Now

Beyond the field show, Impact Now contains other tools, including an emotional learning program, a series of journals, and customizable signs and face masks, to get students back to school safely. “The Impact Now program is designed to … lift young people up and work through the challenges they’ve experienced, so they can get back on their feet,” Seely says.

Empowerment journals can use be used by virtual or face-to-face students with options for physical copies or a downloadable preview of the first 10 weeks. The journals help students of varying ages identify and work through difficult emotions resulting from quarantine and isolation, according to Varsity Brands’ CEO Adam Blumenfeld.

The journals pair with Varsity Brands’ Believe in You video series, which are available to download for free on varsitybrands.com and believeinyou.com. Each 10- to 15-minute video delves into emotional topics like anxiety, bullying, and depression.

“[We know] what young people are going through right now with the closing of schools and how challenging it is to be connected to their peers,” Seely says.

As some students prepare to go back to a physical school, Impact Now can help students stay safe with signage that reminds students to stay 6 feet apart and to wash their hands. Signs and face masks can be customized to feature school colors, logos, and mascots.

Overall, the Impact Now program aims to help students feel engaged with school despite the current obstacles.  “Getting kids engaged in school has never been more important than it is now,” Seely says.

Read about other ways that Varsity Spirit has impacted the marching arts.

Photos courtesy of Varsity Bands.

About the author

Savy Leiser

Savy Leiser is a Chicago-based author, journalist, and freelance editor. In addition to writing for Halftime Magazine, she is the author of the “Furever Home Friends” children’s book series. Savy graduated in 2015 from Northwestern University, where she was a member of the Wildcat Marching Band. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University.

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