Page 11 - Scene Magazine 45-02 February 2020
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but it may not be the reason they are excited to head to school on a given day.
The life skills learned in additional activ- ities can ultimately help students be suc- cessful in their next steps in life. Fundamen- tals such as communication skills, problem solving, team work, and group responsibility will all be valuable throughout life. More- over, individual initiative, time management, sense of community, endurance, and diversity can all be learned and reinforced in the same way. Even the value of competi- tion and the process of learning from both victory and defeat can help a student to make better choices the next time.
Teachers that I work with agree that extracurricular activities can also help to further reinforce skills needed and lessons taught in the classroom. Students involved in the yearbook club will need to use writ- ing skills and even math skills. Students involved in the robotics club will put all the STEM skills into action including science, technology, engineering, and math.
It’s challenging to find a high school without extracurricular activities. In fact, most are open to new ideas when a
student can make the case for it. These activities can be recreational, competitive, or even educational. In addition to sports, think about clubs such as music, theatre, or other special interests such as religion. Student government, publications, and academic clubs also offer the same types of benefits.
Most would consider extracurricular activities to be a part of a well-rounded education, but it doesn’t stop there. Additional activities in school can really help to solidify choices for post-second- ary education. It can also help students to qualify for college scholarships or even trade schools. It is these extracur- ricular activities that help colleges to see the person as a whole rather than just academic achievement. Participation can help them to identify traits that are important to success in college such as initiative, commitment, leadership skills, and accomplishment.
It is also important to consider the value of volunteer efforts as well. Many schools now require hours of community services for all grades in high school
rather than just for seniors. This opportu- nity allows students to experience many areas of interest that they may not have been aware of before as well as to devel- op an enhanced sense of community. Extracurricular activities, including volunteer experiences, could be the very thing that makes the difference between getting accepted into the college of their choice or not.
It is quite possible that your school does not have the capacity or resources to offer an extracurricular activity that your student is interested in. Do not let that stop you. Often, they are available through other organizations for a cost.
If cost is an issue, maybe your student can earn their classes through work opportunities. Some might even have scholarships available. The effort neces- sary to acquire these will help to develop additional skills and will be a valuable learning experience.
Extracurricular activities can make all the difference in how much your student enjoys school. Help them find one that best meets their needs and interests.

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