What’s the academic value of extracurricular activities?

Do students who are involved in extracurricular activities perform better in the classroom? This article, “Academic Value of Non-Academics: The Case for Keeping Extracurriculars,” points to a number of studies that suggest that they do.

This news may be disturbing to parents here in New York, where cuts to extracurriculars are on the rise. According to a report released last week by the New York State Council of School Superintendents on school budgeting issues, roughly half the state’s school districts reported reductions in athletics and other extracurricular activities in 2011-12.

One upstate rural superintendent quoted in the report said that, “Within two years, we will not be able to offer any sports, clubs, or extra-curricular activities. All non-mandated programs will be eliminated.”

What are your thoughts on the value of extracurricular activities? Are they a vital part of a student’s school experience that can enhance academic performance? Or are they an unnecessary extravagance?

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