By: Marina Cary, Springboard Operations Specialist
At Springboard, we recognize the value of out-of-school time in the development of children. Our efforts include bringing a variety of enrichment offerings to select sites by partnering with outside vendors. Springboard’s enrichment offerings are optional courses that allow children to explore various topics and interests independently of their regular school day or the Springboard curriculum. Subjects include dance, music, STEM, and sports, to name a few.
Why should your child join in these classes? They aren’t just fun—they provide proven benefits for children in different ways!
Academic Benefits: Enrichments can be considered unnecessary to academic success because they often focus on entertaining subjects, but research shows that they have positive effects on students. Arts education helps children of all ages learn skills related to the four core subjects: math, science, language arts, and social studies. (For example, there is a strong correlation between music education and math skills.) In addition, children who participate in arts classes and in sports have better test scores and grade point averages than those who do not. These activities promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills by encouraging children to think outside the box.
Social-Emotional Benefits: Enrichment activities also allow children to navigate group environments and build social skills. Studies show that participation in enrichments boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, helping children overcome any fear or uncertainty they might feel over time. Children also learn to collaborate with others by working in groups, whether that is participation in a team sport, in a group project during a STEM lab, or learning a group dance. They are better able to resolve any personal conflicts and to empathize with others, and they may build friendships they might not otherwise have the chance to make.
Other Benefits: Enrichments give children the chance to explore their interests, which will open up more options for careers and hobbies as they grow older. There is also value in the simple idea that children look forward to electives as a fun, relaxing time away from their other school work. They will learn skills and reap a variety of advantages, but they don’t always know it—to them, enrichment time is their break from traditional academics. There are additional health benefits to participating in sports, giving children a chance for regular exercise.
This is merely a summary of the many benefits of enrichment classes. Given these advantages, one could argue that enrichments are not only helpful, but essential to academic success and social-emotional development—two concepts very much at the heart of Springboard’s mission.