After-School Clubs and Activities–Hot or Not?

Teresa Cetrangola ’19
EE Staff Writer

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Trumbull High School’s “We the People” team.

HOT
So, what is the club or activity that comes out on top? Studies by Public Agenda suggest that in 2004, sports ranked number one as the most popular after-school activity. Out of 100%, sports ranked 54% of the vote. Many of the students taking this survey found this statistic true. Sophomore Ella Williamson, when asked what she thought the most popular after-school activity was, she responded by saying “Sports, especially soccer and football!”

Another sophomore, Jack McCarthy, agreed with Ella that sports deemed number one. He even said, “The best after-school activity is something that I enjoy, which happens to be sports. In fact, I even play hockey.”

The Public Agenda also mentions the spot for number two on the after-school activity list ― which happens to be similar to the student’s response. It was totaled that, out of 100%, 36% of people found that artistic, creative clubs and activities such as music and theater were also one of the most popular. Out of 10 students taking the survey, 7 included an activity that involved music or theater that they loved. “I’m a part of the THeSpian Society, Tri-M, plays, and musicals, as well as women’s ensemble.” Says student Michelle Levine. “The musical is the best after-school activity!”

NOT
Despite the good things people say about certain clubs and activities, there are some that just aren’t as popular. Writers at Child Trends did research to see what exactly were the activities that didn’t appeal to students as much as others did.

In 2005, Child Trends discovered that religion-related clubs only received 20% of the vote, while academic related activities, such as math club, reached only 7%! Other things like scouts, for instance, barely reached 10%, while community service received 8% of the vote.

Students found this information agreeable. When asked on what she thought was the least popular club a student could attend, Ella Williamson said, “Bible club, definitely.” She adds, “I don’t know a single person who’s in it.”

Two more sophomores, Nikki Silva and Jack McCarthy, shared a similar view on academic clubs. When faced with the same question on what they think is the least popular, Nikki said, “Academic Decathlon is probably one of the least popular clubs.” Jack agreed with her. Jack also brought up that he also thought that any academic club, including math honors society, was just as equally unpopular in our school.

WHY
What is it that makes a good club? What makes a bad club? What makes students want to play a sport, rather than join academic decathlon?

Researchers at Kumon and Child Trends have a few points as to why they think people choose to do a certain club or activity. Both groups have found that clubs help with socialization skills as well as team building skills. “Sports teams, clubs and activities, like dancing and music, all require children to work together toward a common goal.” Says a researcher at Kumon. “In addition, extracurricular activities let children to build relationships and socialize with peers.”

Sophomore Katherine DiGhello found this research accurate. She says, “The reason I do after-school clubs is the social aspect, but also because it is fun, it gives me some leisure time and it’s entertaining.” Much like what Child Trends and Kumon said, students often choose what they do based on interests, and enjoy it because of the social and teamwork skills provided.

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