20 07, 2015

5 Reasons Your Child Should Join Band

We talk a lot about the value and importance of extracurricular activities for kids. Want to know a really good one? Marching band. Or orchestra. Or just regular ol' band. The point being, music is like spinach or broccoli or apples - really good for your child's growth (mental, mostly, though there's evidence music also helps with the physical stuff). Consider these little nuggets from a Harris poll showing how more musically inclined kids tend to also go farther in education: 65% of those with a high school education participated in a music program That figure climbs to 86% for

14 07, 2015

Why Booster Club Participation is Good for Everyone

If you had to choose between SAT scores, participation in extracurricular activities, or academic grades, which do you think would matter most to a child's future success? A lot of people are surprised to learn that, when it comes to gauging a child's future happiness and success, those extracurricular activities - the sports, theater, music, dance, etc. - can be just as important as more traditional metrics we use to gauge future success. We've touched on this topic before, but the bottom line is that the kids who represent the "extra" in extracurricular are more likely

24 06, 2015

Youth Sports is Replacing Summer Vacations

Despite a decline in participation levels, spending on youth sports in the U.S. continues to climb as parents invest more time and money on house and travel sports. Depending on the source, travel-related spending for youth sports is a staggering $7 billion to $11 billion each year. And that figure is expected to grow by 11 percent this year. "Fewer and fewer young people are participating in team sports every year," notes Don Schumacher, executive director of the National Association of Sports Commissions. "But the people who are participating are participating with a vengeance. They

17 06, 2015

Rising Costs Lower Sports Participation

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The decline in youth sports participation can be attributed to many causes, but one of the most important is price. For a growing number of Americans, it is simply too expensive to enroll their kids in team sports, particularly at the travel level. Add to this cuts in state and federal funding for schools in general and extracurricular activities (including sports) in particular, which places a greater onus on parents to make up the difference through donations and outright fees. The result is a growing population of parents who cannot afford to place their children

15 06, 2015

The Kids Are NOT Alright

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Recently we've been writing about the myriad benefits of sports and athletic activity for kids. Now for the bad news: a growing number of kids simply are not participating in youth sports. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), more than 21 million kids between the ages of 6 and 17 play team sports on a regular basis. Another five million are engaged on a part-time basis. Additionally, participation is highest before kids reach their teenaged years, when a general decline begins. What is of concern, however, is that there also is a

9 06, 2015
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Booster Clubs as Storytellers

If there's one recruiting and fundraising tactic that the world's large nonprofits and charities know best, it's this: storytelling. Which is to say, the most successful nonprofits tell a compelling story that convinces members of the public to volunteer, join, donate, and otherwise listen or help. Unfortunately, an awful lot of booster clubs have yet to learn that lesson. Visit the typical club or school booster site and you're likely to see an image gallery of recent events, a calendar, a mishmash of sponsor logos, and lots and lots of pages that nobody ever visits. What

8 06, 2015

Student-Athletes Are Doubly Accomplished

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Kind of a goofy headline, but what we mean is that students who also participate in sports, theater, band or some other extracurricular activity enjoy twice the sense of accomplishment of kids who only engage in academics. And that's good news for their development as well as a predictor for future success and a sense of well-being. Have we sold you yet? We're not trying to, of course, but think about it: healthy, intelligent, well-rounded, confident kids aren't just good for themselves, they're good for local communities, society, and the world at-large. The simple -

5 06, 2015

Athletics Keep Kids Healthy, Safe

To the massive list of advantages to kids participating in school athletics add this oh-so-important one: they're far less likely to engage in crime, drug and alcohol use, and other dangerous activities. While studies confirm that group sports and other athletic activities make kids smarter and more likely to be better wage earners, turns out other studies show that sports also keeps kids on the straight and narrow. A survey by the American Medical Association of more than 14,000 teenagers published in the "Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine" showed that kids who participated in sports are less likely to

4 06, 2015

Revenge of the Jocks: Athletes Make the Best Employees

Want to hire smart, innovative, socially capable employees with 'natural' leadership skills? Then hire adults who were school athletes. In student athletes make better employees study with the highly academic title, "Sports at Work: Anticipated and Persistent Correlates of Participation in High School Athletics," researchers found that high school athletes do indeed make better employees than their non-athletic counterparts. The first study demonstrated that people naturally expect athletes to exhibit more leadership, self-confidence, and self-respect than those who did not participate in school sports - including those who took part in other school activities, such as the

3 06, 2015

Active Kids Are Smarter Kids

As it turns out, active kids are smarter kids. Which is to say, kids who are physically active - particularly in youth sports - are more than twice as likely to get straight-A's as their more lethargic counterparts. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other authorities that measure such things, show that active kids are generally more receptive to learning, fare better on tests, and don't stress under the pressure of tests and exams as much as others. This is important, especially at a time when so many schools are cutting back