Tiger activities — more than meets the eye

This year has been very exciting for Tiger fans everywhere. The Marshall students have experienced a banner year in the various extra-curricular and co-curricular events in the Marshall Activities Department.

You cannot help but notice the community excitement and pride that our various activity and athletic programs continue to generate in our community and region.

However, despite all of the excitement that is generated by our student activity and athletic programs, when the district begins to develop our annual budget I am often asked if the investment in student activities is really value-added for the students and the school district. While some might like to argue that the value-added components of our student activities programs can be measured in student accomplishments and recognition, I would suggest that the value-added measures of student activity programs extend far beyond the scoreboards and tally sheets found at the various events.

Almost every high school offers extracurricular and co-curricular programs such as music, academic clubs, and athletics.

The skills that students learn in these activity programs includes many life skills such as teamwork, leadership, personal responsibility and accountability, personal awareness, diversity, competition, how to face adversity, as well as a sense of community and culture among the participants. Students develop friendships and memories that last for years from participating in the various events and activities.

Additionally, participation in student activities has been linked to student success in the classroom. Research reported by the National Center for Education Statistics indicated that students who participate in school activity programs demonstrate success in several ways.

The research data suggests that participation in activity programs improves student attendance in school. Furthermore, student participation positively influences academic achievement by students and influences aspirations among students for continuing education beyond high school. These are all important outcomes related to the impact of quality student activity programs on student achievement and academic performance.

In order to ensure that the Marshall Public School District activity programs are available to all students, the District offers a wide variety of extracurricular and co-curricular activities that appeal to our student body. The programs include several programs at the high school as well as the middle school.

School Varsity Athletics offerings (includes lower level teams, such as junior varsity, B-Squad, and C-Squad) are Football, Volleyball, Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Girls Swimming and Diving, Girls Tennis, Boys Soccer, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Boys Hockey, Girls Hockey, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Dance Team, Baseball, Softball, Boys Track, Girls Track, Boys Golf, and Girls Golf. Other high school activities, including club activities and fine arts activities, are Speech, Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Show Choir, Hwy 23 Jazz Choir, Roaring 20’s Jazz Choir, Business Professionals of America (BPA), Math Team, Knowledge Bowl, Fall and Spring Theatre, FFA, Robotics, Yearbook, National Honor Society, and Student Council.

The activities also extend to the middle school. Middle School athletic opportunities operated through the school district include Volleyball, Cross Country, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Boys Track, Girls Track, and Golf. The Middle School fine arts and club offerings include Speech, Show Choir, Jazz Band, Math Team, Knowledge Bowl, Student Council and Yearbook.

As you can see, there are many opportunities and options for students to be actively involved in the Marshall Public Schools. In fact, in the 2011-12 school year, 76 percent of the students attending Marshall High School participated in student activity programs.

Overall, the mission of the Marshall Public Schools is to “develop the potential of each learner for success in a changing world.” The robust activity program offerings in the Marshall Public School District serve as an essential component for our district and our schools to achieve our mission. So, remember, the next time you celebrate the success of our student activity participants, know that you are celebrating so much more than just their activity performance and participation. You are celebrating essential skills and personal development that will serve the student participant for a lifetime. And, you are celebrating a sense of community and pride.

Thanks again for supporting your Marshall Public Schools. Remember, it is a GREAT day to be a Tiger!