The Alliance for Student Activities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of student activities. Through printed materials, videos, and live presentations, the Alliance provides compelling information about the importance of student activities in increasing standardized test scores, lowering the dropout rate, and improving social and emotional outcomes.
FOR STUDENTS in the Clayburn Film and Broadcasting Program at Clayburn Middle School in Abbotsford, British Columbia, each day begins with the production of a live newscast. Teacher and program producer, Mike Haire, believes that middle school is the perfect time to expose students to diverse opportunities. “The students in our program receive experience in TV and film production that is unparalleled,” said Haire.
EACH OF THE COMPONENTS in Search Institute’s equation for human thriving becomes available to students when they get involved in a school-sponsored, adult-supervised, student-driven activity. It doesn’t matter whether it happens through athletics, student government, or something as unconventional as a game club. The combination of connecting a student’s spark to adult mentoring and opportunity drives performance as well as the development of social and emotional skills.
TERRI WOOD IS PASSIONATE about student activities. As the activities adviser at Canyon Hills Junior High School in Chino Hills, CA, she has witnessed the benefits of activities in keeping kids connected to their school and in creating a positive climate. So when the stipends for all junior high activities directors were eliminated from her district’s budget in 2010, Wood remained committed to providing her students with valuable programs.
You’ve done the math. You’ve heard the message. You know about the abundance of credible evidence indicating that adolescents who participate in student activities achieve higher test scores, make better choices, and are more likely to be successful in college and community. But did you know that the research also points to a disturbing trend? Too few students are participating in student activities, and of those who do sign up, many are members in name only. So what can you do to ensure that students are actively engaged?