A Students Involvement Encourages Good Grades
The Purpose of this Report
The purpose of this report is to illustrate that teens that are involved in extra-curricular activities generally get higher grades than those who are not involved in activities. Some of the research for this report was acquired through the Internet and some of it was obtained through surveys of 120 high school students, grades ten through twelve (see Appendix A). All of the sources that talked about this subject suggested that there is a strong positive correlation between extra-curricular activities and good grades. Although some students are different, this has proven true in the general classroom as well as in a high school talented and gifted class, a high school English class, and a high school art class. The main reason that this correlation exists is because of organization skills, parents involvement, and the need these students have to excel.
Results in the General Classroom
It used to be believed by experts that one should study and not play. This is no longer the case, according to Mr. R. Griffin in his article Helping Athletes Excel in Sports and School (23). He suggests that it is important to encourage both academic and extra-curricular performance. In most instances, involvement in extra-curricular activities leads to better grades. According to the University of Michigan, teens that are involved in activities during high school are more likely than teens that didnt participate in any organized activities to have higher grades as high school seniors and to still be in college six years later (Swanbrow 1). These results were produced at the University of Michigan by tracking 1,259 sophomores for six years. These results also proved to be true in the three individual classrooms that were surveyed. The classes that were surveyed were students in art, talented and gifted, and English at Southeast Polk high school. The results are shown in the following three paragraphs.
High School Talented and Gifted Class
A group of students, grades ten through twelve, in the Talented and Gifted program were surveyed to see if the positive correlation between involvement and grades held true. According to this particular survey, it was shown that ninety-six percent of students were involved in extra-curricular activities. These activities ranged from basketball, wrestling, football, swimming and track to National Honors Society, Bible study, speech, drama, and student council. Out of the ninety-six percent of people involved in activities, the average grade point was 3.85 on a 4.0 scale. Of the remaining students, who were not involved in any activities, the average grade point was 3.27 on a 4.0 scale.
High School English Class
This survey was conducted among a sophomore English class. This survey indicated that fifty-five percent of the class is involved in extra-curricular activities, including the same range of activities as mentioned in the above paragraph. Of these students that were involved, the average grade point was 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. The average grade point of the students who were not involved with anything was 2.4 on a 4.0 scale, which shows a fairly large margin between the two. Although these students are only sophomores, the relationship between their involvement in activities and their grades is extremely evident. Many of these students are just beginning to get involved and as high school progresses, they will most likely become even more active in extra-curricular events. If they stay active, their grade point average will most likely stay in the upper range.
High School Art Class
The results from this survey were recorded after questioning an art class composed of students grades ten through twelve. The art class results, like the previous ones, indicated that there is in fact a positive correlation between involvement and grades. The involvement rate was ninety percent. Of those that were involved with extra-curricular activities, the average grade point was 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. There is not as evident of a relationship between involvement and grades in this particular survey as there was in the other two surveys. The average grade point for the ten- percent of the students that were not involved is 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. However, the relationship between involvement in extra-curricular activities and grades is most certainly still there.
Why involvement leads to better grades
It seems that the three main reasons that involvement in extra-curricular activities leads to better grades are the organizational skills that a student has, the parents involvement with their students, and the need an individual student has to excel.
Students that are involved in many activities and still have to do their homework need to be able to manage their time much more wisely than the student with just homework to do. According to the Hello Friend web page, students that develop regular routines for school and home are much more likely to exhibit time management skills. These time management skills that are acquired keep the students organized and more able to get everything done within given time constraints. This ability, to organize time, is also very useful later in life. When students are done with school, they will be expected to juggle a job, a family, and many other things that require successful time management skills. Therefore, being involved with activities in high school not only brings better grades, but it also promotes an easier transition into adult life.
Students who are involved in activities are generally encouraged to do so by their parents. It really helps students to excel when they know their parents are behind them one hundred percent. The Family Involvement Partnership for Learning says that when parents encourage their children and then compliment their childrens success, it greatly increases their childrens chance for success. Parents who encourage their children to get involved are generally more likely to want to be involved with their childrens education as well. They want to help their children in any way possible and they stay in touch with the school that is providing their childs education. Also according to the Family Involvement Partnership for Learning, when parents stay in touch with the school their children are attending, their children are much more likely to achieve greater success in every aspect of their educational career.
A Students Need to Excel
Finally, a student that participates in many activities is generally a person that feels the need to go beyond the given requirements and achieve more. This also applies to their studies. These types of students will not be people that are content to just be normal, they will want to go above and beyond what is expected of them and do well in their classes. An example of this type of a student is a girl named Kristen from Southeast Polk, a senior high school in Runnells, Iowa. Kristen wanted to excel in every aspect of her life. To do this she involved herself in sports, church groups and clubs and participated to the best of her abilities. Not only did she try to excel in her activities, but her grades were also very important to her. She graduated from high school with awards in many activities and a cumulative grade point of 4.0. The person that does want to succeed generally goes out for at least a few activities and also does very well with their studies. Therefore, if a student has a desire to excel, they will be more likely to participate in activities and do well in school.
Based on these findings, it would be in a parents best interest to encourage their children to participate in activities and in a childs best interest to get involved early. However, do not encourage children to be involved beyond their capacity, just enough so that they have some other involvement beyond academics. If students are involved, they attain organizational skills needed for life, they realize the importance of their parents, and they have a high need for success, exemplified through their activities and their school work. For more information about teens participating in activities and getting better grades, contact the American Psychological Association, Diane Swanbrow from the University of Michigan, or contact a high school counselor for average estimates.
The following is a copy of the survey I conducted with 120 high school students:
Do you participate in extra-curricular activities?
If so, which ones?
What is your cumulative grade point average?