Extracurricular school activities are important to child's development
Feb. 2, 2015
by Jenni Sebora

Future Problem Solving, Knowledge Bowl, One-Act Play, declam, and dance are wonderful activities that certainly do not get the attention and following that many sports do – unfortunately.

I was just thinking about what a hoopla we make of the Super Bowl. (Excuse me all sports writers, announcers, and coaches.)

It provides entertainment – that is true, but it is a bunch of guys who are throwing a ball around, tackling each other, and slamming their bodies and heads together or to the ground. They get paid oodles of money for doing this, and they cheat on top of it. Their cheating won’t really be addressed until after the Super Bowl, because too much money is made on the Super Bowl to cause any type of disturbance to it.

I might be a little overdramatic, or maybe not. National Football League players are obviously very skilled. It is funny – the importance, or value our society puts on such sports.

There is no head-bashing, other than brain-wrangling in Knowledge Bowl, one-act play, theater, or declam.

We need to pay more credence to what these activities offer, and to our young people who choose to participate in such programs.

There have been many studies completed regarding how participation in the various arts fields contributes to student success and achievement.

Overall, studies reveal that students who have a high participation in the arts perform better on standardized achievement tests, watch fewer hours of television, are less bored in school, and do more community service.

Various studies have shown that high school students who take art classes have higher SAT verbal and math scores, versus students who don’t take any arts classes.

Critical Links research contains a collection of studies on how various art experiences (dance, drama, visual arts, music, and multi-arts) affect academic and social development of children and youth.

This research has identified benefits in reading and language skills, math skills, thinking skills, social skills, positive school environment, and motivation to learn.

It has also been proven that certain types of music instruction help develop the capacity for spatial-temporal reasoning. Students who have been involved consistently in band/orchestra during middle and high school performed better in math at 12th grade (Critical Evidence/Critical Links).

The arts allows for creativity, problem-solving, and imagination, and the list goes on. I hope that we, as a society, move forward to support our young people in their involvement in the arts and encourage participation in it.

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