As an educator, you see it every day – and the studies back you up. Students who engage in co-curricular and extracurricular activities engage more, get higher test scores, and have a higher graduation rate.1 They can learn how to work individually and with a team, they have higher self-confidence, and they’re much more likely to attend school.
That’s true for students who participate in athletics, the performing arts, music, clubs, and behind-the-scenes activities. Young people connect with each other, develop skills they can use throughout their lifetimes, and stay active in ways that go beyond the classroom.
Participation benefits students in other ways, too. Universities also look for more than GPAs and test scores. Students can show their interests, passions and dedication through their activities.
It even affects mental health. A recent Wisconsin study showed that there’s a correlation between student-athletes’ mental health and the moratorium on sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of student-athletes polled said they had experienced mild depression symptoms during that time, and 65% reported anxiety symptoms when they couldn’t participate in organized sports.2
What can educators do to provide activities during these difficult and uncertain times?
While things look very different this year, it’s important to give students as many opportunities as possible. If you have a Daktronics video board, you can build excitement and keep students involved even if sports aren’t being played right now.
Whether you’re teaching in large classroom settings, in smaller groups or even remotely, students can prepare for game day. There are many ways to keep them active, and interactive:
- Create graphics and content to build excitement
- Work with sponsors to develop ads
- Build athlete features with interviews and stats
- Have them come up with their own ideas!
- See what other schools are doing
No matter how you decide to work with your students, remember that educators like you are needed and appreciated – especially during these difficult times.
2 UW Study: Depression Increasing Among HS Athletes. Coach&A.D. July 1, 2020. https://coachad.com/news/uw-study-depression-increasing-among-hs-athletes/.