Kids and teens often long to attend summer camps for acting, performance, and other creative pursuits – these are the kinds of camps that kids get excited about in advance, and often seek out on their own.
Allowing kids to explore extracurricular activities provides an outlet for creativity and build self-esteem. Many kids lose interest in school if their core classes bore them, or if they aren’t doing well in some of their classes. What a young person perceives as failure, even if very small, can snowball over time to a general sense of alienation from school. Extracurricular activities can often provide the boost of success, the affirmation that yes, you can succeed! at a critical time for many kids, helping them stay interested in school and providing an incentive for them to succeed in their classes. Consider the following:
“The indications are (and research supports) that teens who are involved in extracurricular activities actually do better than their non-involved peers in a number of areas. Instead of test scores falling and sleep being sacrificed because a student is taking on more activities, the opposite is true. Most studies show that students who are involved in extracurricular activities excel above their peers academically. But that’s not all.”
“According to a study published in the Winter 2000 issue of Education, the benefits of teen participation in extracurricular activities go well beyond just filling up an already-busy schedule and having another line to add to the college application.”
“Benefits include having a sense of team spirit and belonging, personal pride and an understanding of the value of fair play, an increased sense of honesty and trustworthiness, and, importantly, the prevention of drug and substance abuse among others. The study states Repeated records of high school students across the United States have shown that those students who become heavily involved in extracurricular activities tend to be model students…”
– Zrinka Peters, Education.com
Finally, here is some particularly impressive information about how much difference performing arts-type activities can make in college admissions, which was compiled by and commented upon by Professor Minh Luong of Yale University. It is worth noting that drama / acting was one of two activities (in addition to speech and debate), that makes the most statistical difference in improving one’s chances for admission to a top college:
“The Wall Street Journal report did specifically highlight a consistent trend – one that [speech and debate] coaches have known for a long time that dedicated participation in drama and debate has significantly increased the success rate of college applicants at all schools which track such data. State and national award winners have a 22% to 30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges and being captain of the debate team improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60% compared with the rest of the pool, according to the report. This is significantly better than other extracurricular activities that tend to recruit from the same pool of students as forensic teams such as school newspaper reporter (+3%), sports team captain (+5%), class president (+5), and band (+3). Even without winning major awards, participation in speech and debate develops valuable skills that colleges are seeking out and that is reflected in the above average acceptance rate (4%).”
– Minh A Luong, Professor at Yale University, The Rostrum, 2000
Based upon the recent research, you can see for yourself how much difference participating in creative arts related activities can make for many students. Summer performing arts and creatively focused camps not only provide a fun and memorable experience for kids, they also provide lasting benefits to kids, helping them explore new activities, get more involved in school, and ultimately inspiring them to get the most out of all of their educational opportunities. Please contact us directly if you need assistance deciding what programs would be the best fit for your family!