When describing America’s education crisis, Walt Disney declared more than 50 years ago: “Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource – the minds of our children.” If standardized tests now dictate curriculums across the country, budget cuts threaten the job security of our brightest new teachers and increased homework becomes an alternative to school sponsored extracurricular activities, where will the potential of the next generation be cultivated? Our answer: Outside of School.
Due to trends inside the classroom, we believe a child’s activities outside of school are more important than ever. While parents recognize the positive impact of athletic instruction and arts education for a child (e.g. graduation rates, likelihood of success in the workplace, and physical and mental health), after-school activities are becoming even more essential in the development of a child’s character, creativity and community.
In the upcoming school year, how will your children spend their free time? Sitting in front of an XBox 360 or participating in a dynamic robotics program? Watching sitcoms on a 3D flat screen or creating 3D video platforms at an innovative computer camp? Texting on the IPhone 4 at a shopping mall or learning a new sport at a park? If Generation Z is our greatest natural resource, then we should encourage the next generation to stop sitting, stop watching and stop texting, and start participating, start creating and start learning.