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How Much Extracurricular Activity Should Students Be Involved In?
Just about every school has some type of extracurricular activity, including sports, music and academic clubs.
These activities offer students opportunities to learn the values of teamwork, physical strength, competition, and a sense of community. They also provide students with the chance to apply academic skills in a real-world context.
According to a study by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, children who participate in after-school programs are more engaged in learning, perform better in the classroom, and benefit from an increased sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.
In addition, participation lowers children's risk of becoming depressed, using drugs and alcohol, and experiencing other behavioral problems.
But with more and more pressure on students to perform better in school, are these activities also creating unintended negative consequences?
A recent Washington Post column described many teens as "walking zombies" because they aren't sleeping enough due to a hectic life of balancing school and after-school activities. (According to National Sleep Foundation, American teens require about 9-1/4 hours of sleep per night, yet only 8 percent of them are getting it.)
The question has to be asked: Is there a point when juggling homework, family life, and being a member of the school band, the soccer team, and the debate club become too much to handle?
Share your thoughts below.
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