Importance of Extracurriculars

The ultimate goal of education is to encourage students to grow as well-rounded individuals. While the classroom presents countless teaching moments for youth, there are many lessons to be learned outside of school hours as well. Extracurricular activities create fruitful opportunities to enrich students' educational experiences in a safe, controlled setting under the guidance of faculty members who want to see them succeed. 

What Are Extracurriculars?

Extracurricular activities are a vital part of the educational experience for students of all ages. Simply put, extracurriculars comprise any activities that students do outside of the classroom. These activities include school-sponsored offerings like athletics, the arts and after-school clubs, but they can also include employment, community service or other personal endeavors. 
On the surface, extracurriculars are a way for students to have fun and enjoy their time away from school. However, they also help to teach students valuable lessons and prepare them for their futures. 

Why Should Students Get Involved?

There are many ways students can benefit from getting involved in extracurriculars through their schools. Research shows that extracurricular participation improves academic performance, as evidenced by a correlation with higher standardized test scores and grade-point averages. Beyond scholastic achievement, extracurricular involvement provides many intangible benefits that prepare students for life:

  • Trying new things: Childhood and adolescence are times for students to absorb numerous experiences. This helps them develop a well-rounded understanding of the world and their places within it. Extracurriculars are students' chances to expand their horizons and find their interests. 
  • Improving social skills: Extracurriculars are a fun way for students to interact with one another and share common experiences that bring them together. Students can make new friends and learn healthy conflict resolution skills that they may not practice in an orderly classroom setting. 
  • Developing time management strategies: Adding more to a student's schedule is an excellent way to get them to narrow their focus and devote their time to the things that matter most. Students will have limited time and energy after compounding school with their extracurricular activities, meaning they'll learn how to effectively manage their time. 
  • Bolstering college resumes: Colleges and universities — especially those with competitive applicant fields — favor students who display a broad range of interests and talents. Participation in after-school activities shows the student's ability to balance school with life.

When Should Students Start Participating in Extracurricular Activities?

While every student is different, children of all ages can benefit from participation in extracurricular activities. There are activities for preschool-aged children as young as four or five years old that can help their physical and social development. As students age, after-school activities continue to be beneficial ways for them to fine-tune their focus toward their ambitions.

Extracurricular participation is encourageable from early childhood through the high school years. Of course, school should always come first — it's the parents' or guardians' responsibility to monitor their children and facilitate a healthy balance between academics and extracurriculars.

Extracurricular at St. Paul's

At The St. Paul's Schools, we offer diverse extracurricular opportunities for students of all ages. Our extracurricular programs are an extension of the classroom where students can put valuable life lessons into practice to achieve their full intellectual, emotional and physical potential.

Extracurriculars, such as athletics, at The St. Paul's Schools in Maryland are available for any student from preschool through our upper schools for boys and girls. Enrollment at a small school with big opportunities like St. Paul's grants any student access to after-school activities like:

  • Sports
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Visual arts

Learn How Your Student Can Grow at The St. Paul's Schools

To learn more about extracurriculars at St. Paul's School for Boys, St. Paul's School for Girls or St. Paul's Pre and Lower School, contact our offices today!