Students of all ages at Willoughby-Eastlake Schools are discovering their passions by diving headfirst into the wide array of extracurricular activities

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Diverse extracurriculars at Willoughby-Eastlake Schools allow students to explore interests and passions that may not be covered within traditional academic courses.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

The ancient African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” implies that stakeholders in the community play an impactful supporting role in rearing children. On another level, so does the number of outside experiences available to enrich their lives.

At Willoughby-Eastlake Schools, the extracurricular activities developed for every age are an important part of a well-rounded education. They offer real-world opportunities to build leadership, teamwork, time management and communication skills. Diverse extracurriculars also allow students to explore interests and passions that may not be covered within traditional academic courses. Whether it is athletics, arts, academic clubs, or community service, being involved in activities can teach students lifelong lessons about dedication, hard work and responsibility.

Another nice perk? Darlings, research shows that students who participate in extracurriculars often have higher academic achievement. A balance of academics and activities prepares students for success both in school and in life.

At Willoughby-Eastlake Schools, the opportunities start early. In the elementary grades, students can join student council, safety patrol, choir, leadership mentoring teams, and be office pages and assembly leaders. Moving onto the middle and high schools, they can take to the field, track and courts through athletics (football, basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, cross country, wrestling, track, tennis), as well as special interest clubs (yearbook, board games, choir, art club, spirit club, drama club, North Volunteers Club, National Honor Society, Key Club).

“Often, the extracurricular activities are what the students can be the most passionate about as part of their school experience,” says North High School Principal Eric Frei. “They also lead to the most lasting friendships because of shared interests.”

Mimi spoke with Grace S., who is an eighth grader at the School of Innovation, and wise beyond her years. She says, “Kids need social experiences and activities like the First Lego League because it gives the students a perfect way to share their interests within a safe environment and shows them how to solve group problems while having fun.”

Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades K-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. Find out more at