Earlier this week CNN published an interesting story called “Teens who spend more time in extracurricular activities and less time in front of screens have better mental health.” Our attention has been pulled in so many directions this week, so this story was easy to miss but SO important to read.
In this new, hybrid learning environment the social and emotional wellness of our students is in the spotlight more than ever before. The study conducted that is the basis of the article did a great job shining a light on this very important area. Some fascinating insights from the article:
- The study referenced was from more than 28,000 seventh grade students between 2014 and 2018 in British Columbia, Canada.
- Their research emphasizes that extracurricular activities are pivotal for the development of social, emotional, and academic skills in students.
- Even though students who participated in extracurricular activities frequently, of these students, 46% of them exceeded two hours of screen time per day.
- Students with not involved in extracurricular activities tended to have higher levels of screen time.
Although this study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, all of these trends have become more common as parents across the world are witnessing their children cope with social and emotional challenges while maintaining their academic responsibilities.
A second study referenced in CNN’s article from the University of British Columbia published in the journal Preventive Medicine states, “… extracurricular activities were still significantly related to higher levels of optimism and life satisfaction — a trend that appeared across genders and independent of screen time.” Furthermore, the study concluded that “This finding confirmed our hypothesis and aligns with previous research and emphasizes that extracurricular activities are an asset for thriving in adolescence.”
Now more than ever, we need to focus our attention on student engagement and its effect on young students. This focus is substantiated by a recent Gallup study finding 128 schools and more than 110,000 students experiencing how student engagement and hope were positively related to student academic achievement progress (growth) in math, reading, and all subjects combined, along with postsecondary readiness in math and writing.
At Passport For Good, we firmly believe in the positive impact of student engagement in extracurricular activities. Whether your student participates in clubs & groups, community service, volunteering, or career development opportunities, it is clear that these activities will produce better student outcomes.
Interested in how Passport For Good can help your students? Contact us today to learn more about how Passport For Good can unlock your district’s student engagement potential!