Why Do We Need Extracurricular Activities?


I recently received an email from a student that I had in the United States.  He was in my fifth grade class in 1986.  It was good to hear the comments about his positive experiences.  He specifically mentioned how he enjoyed catching football passes from me on the playground at recess time.  I coached the receivers on the high school football team and enjoyed teaching the fifth grade students pass routes and how to catch the football.  There was always a long line of students to run the pass routes.  I remember when the bell would ring for the students to go back inside to classes and how disappointed the next two students were that they would not get to run one last route.  Sometimes I would let the next two go ahead and run the route, against a school rule.  I was the teacher; I never got in trouble.  

This student, Greg, also went on to play high school football years later.  Although he was not a receiver, I got to watch him play as the groups would come together for a scrimmage.  He was small for his position but he had a heart of gold and was a strong team player.  The key word here is team.  Building a team attitude can go very far in the globalization of our society, because together everyone achieves more (T.E.A.M.).

 Well this student is now a physical education teacher in an area middle school.  I have no doubt that he is passing on the team building skills he learned while attending the Sycamore Community School District.  Who knows, maybe he is even throwing a few footballs to students during their breaks.

Extracurricular activities such as art, music, physical education, and more are very important for the students’ development.  These activities teach students how to work together to solve problems.  They teach students how to create. They allow students to use higher level thinking skills in order to adapt or adjust quickly.

Universities have been paying more and more attention to students who have participated in diverse activities.  The activities that they participate in, reveals a lot about them to potential universities. Universities want to know if they can make a meaningful contribution and maintain a long-term commitment.  They want to know if students can budget their time and make priorities.  They also believe that these students will add to the university’s growth and development.  Universities are looking for students that can demonstrate commitment for an activity outside the academic setting.  I have known this to be true of American universities and over the past 3 years have found similar feelings of Korean universities.  I have had the opportunity to discuss this issue with admission directors from both Korean University and Sungkyunkwan University.  While academic and test scores are important, a student’s outside activities are becoming increasingly important too.                    
   .  Want more on extracurricular activities? 
     Korea University                                                                     Sungkyunkwan University

Try this helpful link that features audio for the ESL students.
 Extracurricular Activities