The Gulf Insider interviewed Mr. Michael Balo, the Athletic & Activities Director at the American School of Bahrain (ASB), to discuss the value of extracurricular activities in students’ lives.
The development of extracurricular skills, whether in sports, arts, or academic curriculums, is crucial to a child’s education and ability to become a well-rounded adult. Let’s examine the interview in more detail.
Why Extracurricular Activities (ECAs) Are the Second Half of Education?
ECA programs emphasize skill development and provide students with extra learning opportunities that might not be available in a regular curriculum. Consequently, it is a continuation of the classroom. Students will gain valuable life skills they can use as adults by actively participating in extracurricular activities. These skills include perseverance, communication, risk-taking, sportsmanship, understanding how to win and lose, and overcoming obstacles.
All ECAs at ASB are closely related to the school pillars. By participating in ECAs, students lead balanced lives, are exposed to a global perspective, feel a part of the school community, and gain leadership abilities. ASB extends what they do daily in the classroom to their activities program.
What are the Main Components of a Successful ECA Program?
The main components of any ECA program are different activities that fit with the school’s mission and vision. The school should make an effort to offer a selection of extracurricular activities that must meet the needs of each student because they are all different, have various interests, and learn in different ways.
What Kind of ECA Programs Should the School Offer?
From Kindergarten to Grade 11, ASB provides activities for all students. It’s strongly encouraged by the school, but participation is optional. The pursuits can be divided into four groups: leadership, creativity, academics, and well-being. For ASB students, most activities are cost-free. Still, ASB occasionally invites outside providers to the school to provide activities for a fee.
Michael Balo For His Personal Success Mantra.
As the interview concluded, having worked as an international educator for more than 28 years, the Gulf Insider asked Mr. Michael Balo for his personal success mantra.
Mr. Michael finally answered that his passion is providing a robust activity program for every ASB student. Students must be given options, challenged, and encouraged to succeed in whatever they choose to do. His goal is to provide every student with a choice of activities tailored to fit their needs. Every student is different; they all learn uniquely and have various interests. His goal is to fill those gaps with a complete ECA program.
The Benefits Of ECA.
The interview is over at this point. Now, let’s examine the benefits of participating in various extracurricular activities.
Specific extracurricular activities can help your child develop skills in various developmental domains, depending on the type of program you’re considering for them. Research, however, has revealed that extracurricular activities can generally do the following:
- Build cooperative and problem-solving abilities.
- Encourage confidence and self-worth.
- Create a solid work ethic.
- Promote excellence in academic performance.
- Boost a high school student’s portfolio for college applications.
- Assist kids in acquiring emotional control that transfers to the classroom.
- Give children a chance to form closer friendships than they might in a school setting due to shared interests.