Page 10 - Scene Magazine 45-02 February 2020
P. 10

The life skills learned in additional activities can ultimately help students be successful in their next steps in life.
That Mean So Much
It’s often said that, ‘you get out of it what you put into it.’ And when it comes to school and learning the more you work at it, the better you get. And I would add, the more you experience, the greater your expectations become.
Our students attend school to learn about reading, writing, and arithmetic, but they also learn social skills, how to work together in groups, how to go above and beyond, how to stand out, or in some cases, to stand alone.
Extracurricular activities in schools can help to shape the adult that you are hoping your student will become, includ- ing the step toward college admission, or even a trade school.
You do not have to look far to see the value-added benefits of extracurricular activities. It is confirmed repeatedly in the words of students, parents, and school staff; study after study supports the same outcome: Extracurricular activities make sense and create a more well-rounded learning experience.
But for a student or parent, one of the most significant outcomes is the
increased sense of attachment to the school, the development of friendships, and the increased desire to succeed.
According to the National Educa- tional Longitudinal Study (NELS), there
is an identified link between extracurric- ular activities and school participation, consistent attendance, higher academic performance, as well as a strong desire to continue education beyond high school. Looking specifically at seniors, the study suggests that when high school seniors regularly participated in extracurricular activities they had a higher attendance rate, had fewer unexcused absences and were less likely to skip a class.
When compared with students who did not participate in extracurricular activities, participating students were three times as likely to be in the top 25% of their class in both math and reading assessment. The brief also showed that roughly two-thirds of students who partic- ipated in extracurricular activities were expected to complete a college degree. Conversely, only fifty percent of students who didn’t participate in extracurricular
activities were expected to go on to col- lege; or you could say, fifty percent that did not participate in additional activities did not expect to attend college either.
While it could be argued that students who are already successful are more likely to participate in additional activities, I can say from personal experience in the classroom that students anecdotally per- form better in class during the semesters that they are involved, and do not do as well in the semesters that they are not involved. It’s because of their activities that they get up and attend class, partially because they are required to. When I start a new semester I ask students what their favorite part of school is and sadly it’s
not usually math class, but rather drama club, basketball, or student government. The activities named by students regularly change but the concept is always the same; it’s not usually a class but rather
an extracurricular activity. This is where they learn life skills and fundamentals to be a successful adult. Achieving success in academic classes such as math is a necessity to further a student’s education

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