On your mark, get set, go! Running, painting, reading musical notes, sculpting and dribbling are all tied together in a category of programs schools can’t wait to cut. From arts to extra-curricular activities, administrations are slowly slashing the support for these non-academic activities and hobbies. With a clear and precise financial plan, the teaching staff, facilities, books and equipment take precedence over anything optional or outside the border of the classroom. As they’re taking off down the track with the excess funds, these programs are left with merely a fend for yourself approach.
No matter the level, art is a way to express yourself and demonstrate to others who you are. From kindergarten fingerprints to senior self-portraits I grew to release what’s inside in a very healthy and productive manner. Just by partaking in art for so many years, I find myself more creative in other subjects and wanting to learn from a more hands on approach. As noted by Eli Broad, “contemporary art challenges us..it broadens our horizons. It asks us to think beyond the limits of conventional wisdom.” Thinking outside the box is most frequently used in abstract art and is an excellent expression of individualism. Many times there are multiple ways of solving a situation. Through art we learn to go around the normal route and into a culture that fits our own perspective.
Speaking of our own routes, many find their “niche” in athletics or music. These are alternative solutions to show your abilities and qualities. Growing up with four brothers and Sports Center broadcasted on all three TVs; I grew accustomed to physical activity. Anything involving movement and competition you could count on me. Sports definitely give me a way to showcase the talent I have and interact with others who share the same interest. It is an easy way to release any pressures or stressors on my mind, and teach me the values of teamwork and dedication. I mentioned physical exertion above and sports do just that. They promote wellness and form your body into a more toned/sculpted version.
Along with athletics, music is another extra-curricular activity that is enjoyed in various forms and is demonstrated according to individual preferences. It is proven that those who learn how to play a musical instrument actually do better academically than those who chose to abstain. Plus the academic results, theatre, band, and choir are ways to express your talents and entertain an audience at the same time. While involved in theatre, I was on cloud nine up on stage. When acting out a scene, I was indicating what hard work and interest can produce, while at the same time exhibiting the joy I feel.
Extra curricular activities are a necessity in our school systems. One of the keys to building successful children is allowing them to develop as unique individuals. In order to do this, art, music, theatre and athletics must be a part of this development. These activities are essential in building character, discipline, social skills, fitness, self-esteem, unity, and not to mention enjoyment. Currently, the balls in your court, funding is just as important as you make it. From softball diamonds to stage scenery, new innovations on paper will remain there until someone has the amount of money to construct the idea. Self-expression can only be demonstrated in the classrooms and learned from textbooks to a certain extent. With a variety of extra curricular involvement individuals can express themselves in the light that makes them shine the best.
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