The importance of Extra Curricular Activities
The importance of Extra-Curricular Activities and students being involved!
One of the things that I have appreciated most about my short time at West Fork and being a part of Warhawk Nation is the support the school has from the community. When our students participate in things, we typically have a great turn out of support from the student body, parents, and others within the community. Something that many schools are struggling with is getting students to go out for those “extras” that are so important. There is a great deal of research and many articles about the importance of extracurricular activities and how it positively affects student performance.
Here is what the research says is the positive effects of extracurricular activities: Students that participate in extracurricular activities: have reduced behavior problems; have higher grades and positive attitudes towards school; are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to have higher academic achievement; learn lessons in leadership, teamwork, organization, analytical thinking, problem-solving, time management, learning to juggle many tasks at once and allows them to discover their talents; and are socially better adapted.
You may be wondering why I am mentioning this in a districtwide newsletter. I know how important it is to have good numbers out to have strong programs. (I want to acknowledge all the students that have put in the effort to represent West Fork. Great Job to all of those that participated!) But I believe WE can influence more kids to go out for these “extra” activities. As parents, when you talk to your elementary kids, you can say, “I can’t wait until I can go to a (game/concert) and watch you (play/perform!)” or “When you get older what (position/instrument) do you think you want to play?” Parents can build a lot of excitement and set the expectation that when their child gets older, that he or she will be involved in these activities. I believe that it is too late if we wait to talk about expecting students to participate when they are in middle school and high school. We need to make and set that expectation while students are young. We could never have too many students involved in band or chorus, nor can you have too many kids out for track and football.
It is a WIN/WIN situation for students/parents and our school by encouraging all of our students to be involved in activities when they get older. I mentioned earlier (bold print above) all of the positive ways that students are affected by participating in extracurricular activities. Parents get those same benefits in an indirect way when their student participates in an activity. We have a great school with many great things going on. The success and strength of all of our extracurricular programs are a reflection of our school to our neighboring districts. It would be awesome to have even more participation in extracurricular activities, and I believe participation and involvement in these “extra” activities give our students a sense of belonging and purpose. Thank you for encouraging your child(ren) to participate in the wide variety of extracurricular activities that are offered at West Fork Community School.