Lack of club days hurts student involvement

Using+tape+to+hold+down+her+string%2C+senior+Ebony+Tilden+makes+a+friendship+bracelet+during+first+clubs+on+Nov.+8+of+last+year.+Friendship+Bracelet+Making+Club+has+only+met+three+times+this+school+year.

Schyler Entz

Using tape to hold down her string, senior Ebony Tilden makes a friendship bracelet during first clubs on Nov. 8 of last year. Friendship Bracelet Making Club has only met three times this school year.

“Get involved” they say. “Try out different things” they say. When entering high school, parents and staff encourage you to involve yourself in extracurricular activities such as clubs. In prior years, administration has taken it upon themselves to designate eight Friday’s a year to club activities. However, due to lack of attendance and behavior issues, the amount of days appropriated to clubs has been reduced, leaving students upset. A lack in club days has confiscated activities, roles and relationships available to students when they participate.
According to education.stateuniversity.com, several studies have examined outcomes by type of extracurricular activity. In one of which, Jacquelynne Eccles and Bonnie Barber investigated the contributions of participation in school and community clubs to the development of approximately 1,200 adolescents from ten school districts. From their studies, they concluded: academic club activities appeared to contribute to increases in the grade point averages of these students, participation in fine arts programs appears to contribute to better academic performance and psychological well-being, and young people can derive developmental benefits from participating in well-run organizations.
Activities are important for several reasons. Participation in clubs and supervised constructive activities, limits the time available for students to get involved in less constructive activities like practicing inappropriate behaviors. Additionally, clubs sponsored by schools enable members to learn valuable skills. Many of the activities offered by clubs help students to extend on knowledge learned in school.
With a variety of clubs comes the opportunity to participate and explore in new roles. While the average classroom might not allow for leadership roles, clubs provide valuable authority experiences for students. Similarly, other roles, such as vice presidents and executive officers, enable identity exploration. Such leadership skills help students in both college as well as the workforce.
Lastly, relationships forms with adult organization leaders and peers through participation in clubs are important. Just like relationships formed in other capacities, adults and peers can serve as role models, as well as sources of social support and friendship. The previously mentioned source claims that several developmental theories point to the importance of adult mentoring for child and adolescent development. Peer relations might also benefit from participation in clubs as supervised activities provide opportunities to gain social skills from positive interactions.
In a survey of 126 students, 94.4% thought there are not enough club days while 96% wish that there were more. If these students wish to see more club days in the future, they need to approach administration with their desires. Their requests must be met with the acknowledgement of the importance of club activities in the lives of adolescents.

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