An Active Town is a Happy One
All students can admit to groaning after hearing the intercom drone on about a club no one knows about. But have you ever stopped to think about the importance and impact of these seemingly "unimportant" clubs on your community? I decided to learn about it, I hope you do as well!
Extracurriculars have been an omnipresent staple of modern school for a while. They are offered at almost every school and play a big role in a majority of students’ day-to-day life. Whether it be sports, a language club, extra help, or just a fun place to belong after school is said and done, extracurriculars are the way to go for students. So it begs the question, how come there aren’t more of them? And it begs an even bigger question, how do they even affect communities around the world? After reading, it will be hard to gloss over and take for granted these activities again.
Extracurricular activities are offered in a quite of few schools. Usually they are in the form of sports or extra help classes. But, there are also quite a few schools with classes after the bell that offer a whole slew of things to do! Some examples are Latino club, Black history club, Chess club, and even Video Game club in some areas! But what the common public doesn’t know is the amount of benefits doing activities outside of your normal academics has. According to an article, “A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that children tend to have higher levels of school engagement when involved in one or more activities, like sports, lessons or clubs.” And fortunately, a majority of the youth today are participating in them. This article states, “Fifty-seven percent of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity, according to a new report released today from the U.S. Census Bureau.” (Census Bureau). As seen by these statistics, these activities can provide very positive effects to the youth that we see in schools today. They help students perform better in school and engage better with it more. And on top of that, more kids today are taking part in them. Which is why I believe schools should notice these upsides and incorporate more of these programs and them more often, if they're are able to. If they have positive effects, and kids are taking part in them, it almost seems like a no brainer!
Newburgh, my hometown, is a somewhat small place situated in New York state. I love a lot of aspects of my home, like how it’s always so united as a community. But one downside is how small the high school campuses are. With their small size, unfortunately comes an even smaller list of programs. As listed on the NECSD website, there are only 10 programs being provided by NFA. However, the newburgh Armory has a much more vast array of programs to choose from. On their website, listed under the “Events & Activities” tab and the “Education” tab, you can see a wide variety of programs, sports, activities, and academics being offered (“Events & Activities” “Education”)! It is evident from the NECSD website that NFA unfortunately does not offer much. This can pose an issue for students who use schools as their only outlet for keeping themselves busy. However, if school isn’t your only option, the Newburgh Armory is a great place to go to with its many programs!
Amador is another city, containing the high school Amador High. In contrast to Newburgh and NFA, it is all the way to the east in California. And another big difference is that their program and clubs list is vastly larger. Their clubs and programs list contained exactly 109 different clubs provided by the school itself. On the school website, it states, “Amador Valley High School's mission is to provide students with the essential skills for lifelong learning and achievement, and to nurture responsible citizens who contribute to society intellectually, creatively, and compassionately.” (Mission) You can tell from their website that Amador’s main mission is to provide students with skills that will help them through their entire lifetime; both academically, socially, and even creatively with a lot of the programs they provide you. They realize how important these are to students, so they make sure to give them all they can ask for. I can only imagine that the people there are very happy and attentive during their school days given what extracurriculars can do for students.
Over the course of doing my project, I have realized just how important these after school activities they sometimes annoyingly announce over the intercom are. And after you read this, I hope you do as well! Which is what makes the fact NFA does not have many of them more unfortunate. These programs you might shrug after hearing about them once are actually a great part of our community, and they positively affect students academically and with focusing on their studies. I am always seeing students from NFA take a bus to the Main campus after school for different programs, even with the limited choices, like debate club or even the swimming team. So when I see schools like Amador High with a list of extracurriculars that go into the 100’s, it makes me wish my own school would follow suit. And while I’m aware there’s many things the principle has to look into, I hope they do soon!
“Amador Valley High Home.” Amador Valley High, amador.pleasantonusd.net/.
“Education – Newburgharmory.org.” Newburgharmory.org, www.newburgharmory.org/education/.
“Events & Activities – Newburgharmory.org.” Newburgharmory.org, www.newburgharmory.org/activities/.
“Mission.” Amador Valley High, amador.pleasantonusd.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=300850&type=d&pREC_ID=694672.
“Our Programs.” CS: Copyrights and Plagiarism - NECSD, www.newburghschools.org/page.php?page=76.
US Census Bureau. “Nearly 6 Out of 10 Children Participate in Extracurricular Activities.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 9 Dec. 2014, www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-224.html.
US Census Bureau. “School Engagement Higher for Children in Extracurricular Activities.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 6 Nov. 2018, www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/childs-day.html.