I just have to do at least one post about getting teens more involved in their education since that is what made me want to start this blog in the first place. Getting teens involved in things outside the classroom is actually a good way to keep them interested inside the classroom. In an article from Gear Up Iowa they mention that a teen who has extracurricular activities outside of school develop better stress and time management skills. Multiple studies have shown that students who are involved in extracurricular activities are more successful academically.
So your student has two left feet, can’t hold a ball, and hates yearbook. There are other options besides sports and clubs (although those are great!). How about volunteering? Dun dun duuuun. I know it sounds like work, well it is work. But volunteering in high school can help your student form a better idea of who they are, what they want to accomplish out of life and out of a career and give them a sense of accomplishment from helping others.
Do Something! DoSomething.org is one of my favorite sites for teens to explore things to, well do. They have events, activities, and social campaigns for teens to join and a lot of them give the participants chances to win scholarships. Their projects range from providing free childcare to a parent trying to earn their GED, to creating wearable art to promote eating organically, to creating postcards to help people quit smoking. Really a great site that updates regularly and always has a range of ideas to suit whatever talents or interests your teen has.
Then there’s always the traditional route of volunteering in your community. Don’t make it something that turns into a chore. Let your teen go to some of the places that allow volunteers; library, museums, nursing homes, civic centers, humane society, hospital, public television or radio companies, and other local nonprofits or government businesses. Let them see what the place is really like before they decide they want to spend the time and effort volunteering. Most places have a local database of businesses near you searching for volunteers.
If maybe your teen doesn’t want an ongoing commitment or is unsure of where or how to help, they can do fundraisers to help their favorite nonprofits. If they love animals, let them run a car wash to raise money for the humane society. If they love the library do a book drive for donations. There really is a PLETHORA of needs in our communities that teens can get involved in. It looks good on a future resume as well.