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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Athletics & Extracurriculars Roundtable: Value of Extracurriculars

The Community Roundtable on athletics and extracurricular activities that was held on Monday, Feb. 8, included lively discussion on a variety of topics. In order to keep the conversation going, we invite readers to post their thoughts on the following question that was presented to participants at the Community Roundtable. Click here to read notes on what was discussed at the Community Roundtable.

Broadalbin-Perth offers 32 clubs across its four schools and 15 sports programs with teams at the modified, junior varsity and varsity levels. Much of the research into the value of extracurricular activities, such as the ones offered at B-P, suggests that they have positive effects on students who participate.

“Those effects can be particularly important for students who belong to ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, and students at risk of dropping out of school,” said John H. Holloway, a consultant for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, N.J. “Participation in school activities, especially athletics, leads to higher self-esteem and an enhanced status among peers. Some have argued that a positive self-esteem is a deterrent to antisocial behavior.”

According to CollegeBoard, the company that administers the SATs, colleges and universities care about students participating in clubs and sports, too. An article on the CollegeBoard Web site,, explains to students, “Your activities reveal a great deal about you, such as how you’ve made a meaningful contribution to something; what your non-academic interests are; whether you can maintain a long-term commitment; whether you can manage your time and priorities; and what diversity you’d bring to the student body.”

Although the benefits that students can receive from participating in extracurricular activities are well-documented, the question remains: Are they worth it? During these difficult economic times, should schools like Broadalbin-Perth devote resources to extracurriculars like clubs and sports or focus their efforts on the classroom?

What value do you place on extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports? Are they an essential part of a well-rounded education? Or are they luxuries we can do without?


  1. Absolutely, clubs and sports are important to a child's development ~ they help kids develop socially and academically. I value them a lot. Do I think we are breaking the bank? No, I do not. Could there be a few adjustments, maybe. But can we afford to eliminate them? No!

    Should we put more effort in the classroom, what does that mean?

    Should we raise the bar? YES!!!! Do kids need to step it up? YES!!!! Do teachers need to expect more? YES!!!!

    BUT, last time I checked none of those efforts cost money! It doesn't cost any money to tell your kid an 85 isn't good enough ~ seems to me ~ it should be a 90 or higher! Teachers should expect the same ~ all the time, no matter what!

    And if that is not what you meant with "should we put more effort on the classroom" ~ then I'm sorry but, I still feel the same way!

  2. I think more teachers should be asked to volunteer their time for clubs. The amount they are paid to supervise a club isn't all that much but if enough teachers gave it back it would save a little.

    I know it's only a little but if we say "oh its only a little here and a little there we are cutting it won't make a difference" then nothing gets cut and we are where we started.

    A little reducing from all areas adds up whether it be 1,000 dollars or 10,000 dollars.

  3. I know that many teachers already do go over and beyond what they need to. The club 'kick back' money was cut last year and many teachers take that minimal amount of money to provide projects, supplies and snacks for the children for their clubs. Little if any money is left for their own personal use. Teachers are making an effort to reduce all spending as much as possible. Please keep this in mind.

  4. My opinion is that it should be mandatory for teachers to mentor at least one club or activity durring their career at the school with no additional compensation. Budgets should be established for the club and the mentor should be responsible for working with in it.

  5. One more comment on the sports programs here at BP. It's wonderful to see that we have such immaculate and state of the art facilities for extracurricular activities and sports that we have paid to install and also to maintain. What good are they if we can't afford to support our teams and clubs to use them?