Extracurricular Activities and Why They Are so Important

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Extracurricular Activities and Why They Are so Important
Extracurricular activities are not an extra in a private school. They are an integral part of the program each school offers.
Extracurricular activities are exactly that, extras, right? Unfortunately, in these tough economic times that is very often the case in public schools. Faced with declining tax revenues, public schools have had to make some very heavy cuts in their budgets. It's difficult to justify cutting teachers and course offerings. So, the 'extras' have to be cut. Extras in the public school world include extracurricular activities such as a band or orchestra as well as clubs and other activities.
In private schools extracurricular activities are an integral part of the school's offerings. Solid academics, a variety of athletic programs and an assortment of extracurricular activities are considered essential to the way a private school works.

Put another way, you cannot educate a child solely by teaching her academic subjects such as math and science. There's more to education than that. That's where sports and extracurricular activities come in. They allow your child to grow. They allow her to be stimulated by new ideas and ways of thinking. They give her a sense of accomplishment and encourage team spirit. These are all excellent lessons she needs to learn in order to be a successful adult.

Let's look at a couple of schools to get an idea of the rich array of choices your child will encounter at private school. Incidentally, it doesn't matter too much whether the private school you are considering is a day school or a boarding school. Either type of private school will offer more extracurricular activities than you can imagine. We have quoted from two schools' descriptions of their activity programs so that you can hear how important these are from the schools' perspective.
"At Middlesex life outside the classroom is marked by energy, exploration, and community.  With over 60 clubs and organizations Middlesex students have a diverse and extensive set of opportunities to enrich their lives and learn through experience. Middlesex believes that creativity and self-discovery are important aspects of the student experience, and these clubs and other activities are a great way to find new interests or develop existing ones."
  • Alumni Ambassador
  • Amnesty International
  • Applied Science Club
  • Arabic Club
  • Astronomy Club
  • Book Club
  • Chess Club
  • Chorus
  • Club Gol a Gol   
  • Common Sense (Environmental Organization)
  • Community Service
  • Contemporary Chamber Ensemble   
  • Cowboys' Lunch
  • Crossword Puzzle Club   
  • Debate Club
  • Diversity Committee   
  • Divine Visions (Step Dance)
  • Etymology   
  • Fides
  • Finance Club   
  • Fishing
  • Freedom of Speech   
  • French Club
  • Harry Potter Club   
  • Ikon
  • Instrumental Ensembles   
  • Jazz Club
  • Jewish Club   
  • Math Team
  • Middlesex Art Association   
  • Middlesex Yearbook
  • Model Congress   
  • Model United Nations   
  • Mxlodians
  • Peer Support
  • Photography Club
  • Ping Pong Club
  • Pottery Club   
  • Society of Skeptics
  • Songwriters Anonymous   
  • Spectrum (Multi-cultural Organization)
  • Student Activities Committee   
  • Student Admissions Committee
  • Student Government   
  • The Anvil
  • The Asian Society   
  • The Circle (literary newspaper)
  • Theatre
  • Young Democrats
  • Young Republicans
"The goal of The Hill School's Student Activities Office is to provide a diverse and enriching residential experience for the students and faculty. Activities are offered throughout the school year that appeal to a wide variety of interests."
  • Action AIDS
  • Archaelogy Club
  • Asian Cultural
  • BBQ Club
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Chapel Committee
  • Chess Club
  • Community Service Group
  • Ellis Theater Guild
  • Fine Woodworking Club
  • Fly Fishing Club
  • Food Club
  • French Club
  • Glee Club
  • Guitar Ensemble    Habitat for Humanity
  • Hill Athletic Association
  • Hilltone Trebles
  • Hilltones
  • Honor Council
  • International Culture Exchange
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Math & Computer Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Operation Smile
  • PDS Teaching Assistants
  • Peer Counseling Group
  • Pep Band
  • RAM Radio
  • Reception Committee
  • Recycling Club
  • Rock Band
  • Sailing Club
  • Skateboarding Club
  • Ski Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Speech & Debate Club
  • Stock Exchange Club
  • Student Activites Committee
  • Student Government Association
  • Student Prefects
  • Tech Support Group
  • The Dial (yearbook)
  • The Hill News (newspaper)
  • The Record (literary journal)
  • Young Democrats
  • Young Republicans
The other consideration about extracurricular activities is the leadership aspect. Most private school teachers are required to supervise an extracurricular activity as part of their duties. In fact that is something which is spelled out in a teacher's contract. The benefit for your child is enormous. She gets to participate in an activity which is guided and directed by an adult who is enthusiastic about the activity. That adult is also one of her teachers. So she has the opportunity of seeing her teachers in a completely different setting from the classroom. Learning and having fun are a great combination. That's one of the reasons why private schools will preserve a rich array of extracurricular activities. Those activities are part of what make the school what it is.

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