The results of several leading national surveys regarding participation in after-school activities overwhelmingly suggest that if extracurricular options are made available, students will not only take advantage of these opportunities, but they will seek them out.
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Among middle and high school students:
- 79% regularly participate in after school or weekend activities
- 57% participate in a non-school activity almost every day
- 54% of participants would select a sports-based activity if given the option
- 36% would select an activity outside of sports, such as music or dance
Types of Programs Available
- Literacy support programs (reading or book clubs)
- Physical fitness clubs (sports teams)
- Area-specific enrichment programs such as science, technology, engineering, and math
Benefits of Participation
After-school programs can:
- Improve academic performance
- Foster positive classroom behavior
- Reduce drug use and criminal behavior
- Contribute to healthy eating and regular exercise
- Government Funding
Historically, government funding focuses more on funding programs intended to improve academic achievement and less on extracurriculars.
58% of parents say they have a harder time finding activities for their children over the summer, and 14% of parents report difficulties in finding extracurricular activities during the school year.
- Family Interest
Only 55% of minority families feel their children would get more from an academic extracurricular program, and only 45% of low-income families, and 35% of higher-income families agree.
Despite the challenges, extracurricular activities provide many positive benefits and fill an important duty in rounding out the youth of America.