October 7, 2015
By Katherine Spinney For many students, September marks the beginning of the school year along with the start of extracurricular activities. Here at Our Military Kids, we spent a busy month connecting 371 students from 44 states, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico to these extracurricular activities. From Anchorage, Alaska to Honolulu, Hawaii, from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Suwanee, GA, we helped military kids all over the country participate in activities like color guard, swimming, piano, gymnastics, SAT tutoring and dance, this month’s most popular activity. Anyone who has participated in extracurricular activities knows how fun they can be, but did you also know how much they help students learn and grow? Time and time again, research shows that extracurricular activities benefit students emotionally, mentally and academically. In fact, students involved in extracurricular activities are three times more likely to have a 3.0 GPA than students who are not, and students who participate in sports are almost twice as likely to graduate as those who do not. For children of our Deployed and Wounded, participation in extracurricular activities has additional importance and meaning. Time and time again, our families tell us how much their children’s participation benefits them. As one deployed service member recently shared, “My daughter had a hard time dealing with my first OCONUS deployment. If it wasn’t for Our Military Kids we wouldn’t have been able to continue the classes. I couldn’t imagine how she would have been affected without it.” Our Military Kids understands how important these activities are not just to the children but to their families as well. We have not turned down an eligible child in 11 years, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we never do.