Sep 11, 2009

Soule Restaurant: Biology or Basketball?

It’s Back to School time!

The “!” might be a bit too enthusiastic for many back-to-schoolers, but there’s a good way to get your kids back into the groove.

Extracurricular activities.

There are many who believe that extracurricular activities distract children from their studies, which is where the “dumb jock” stereotype originated.

Studies show, however, that children who participate in extracurricular activities tend to perform better than nonparticipants, and nurture a more favorable outlook towards school.

Sports and Fine Arts promote citizenship and sportsmanship, as well as instilling a sense of pride in community while teaching the value of teamwork and self-discipline.

They provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom, and allow students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context with regard to responsibility, competition, diversity, and a sense of culture and community.

Studies that focused on the U.S., as well as individual states including New York, Wyoming, Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas all reached similar conclusions: Students who participate in activity programs tend to have higher GPAs, better attendance records, lower dropout rates, fewer disciplinary problems, and frequently continue on to earn degrees in higher education.

Participants are three times more likely to perform in the top quartile on a composite math and reading assessment, compared with nonparticipants, and tend to have higher self-esteem and enhanced status among peers, which many argue is a deterrent to antisocial behavior.

So… Biology or basketball?

One option is definitely not mutually exclusive of the other.

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