Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

Posted by Amber White on

 How are extracurricular activities beneficial to school systems? According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development website, recent studies have shown that student participation in extracurricular activities have actually lowered high school dropout rates.  Participation in these activities benefit at-risk students by creating a positive and voluntary link to their schools.  This association is crucial in maintaining, enhancing, and strengthening the student-school connection in the minds of these boys and girls.  The more students feel like a contributing member to their school’s society the higher school importance is ranked on their personal lists.            

Ralph B. McNeal, Jr., a researcher in sociology, revealed in his journal article entitled Sociology of Education that various types of activities have varying abilities to regulate school dropout rates.  He determined that students who partake in athletics, fine arts activities, and academic groups were an estimated 1.7, 1.2, and 1.15 times, respectively, less likely to dropout out than the students who did not join any extracurricular activity.  Athletic participation reduced the probability of school dropouts by approximately 40 percent.  Even activities that are not directly associated with academic achievement ended up reflecting a stronger school connection and involvement which lead to increased academic success.  That being said, according to the Journal of Research and DevelopmentEducation, research appears to support that extracurricular activities offer all students- especially those at risk- an academic safety net of sorts and that “eliminating the opportunity for such participation eliminates the last link to fostering a sense of belonging to school that some students have”.

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