September 24, 2018
Dear LoMA Family,
One of the things that makes LoMA unique is our wide variety of extracurricular activities for extracurricular credit (EC). Yes, they are required for graduation, but we have never had a problem with our graduates not meeting the 16 EC requirement because our students always enjoy their extracurricular activities and understand how important they are in building their social, artistic, and athletic skills. These activities help them nurture deeper friendships, develop leadership skills, and learn about themselves and the world.
In addition to being fun and interesting, participating in extracurricular activities makes it much more likely that students will get into good colleges. Imagine that you are a director of admissions for
choosing between two applicants. One student has good grades, but nothing else.
Another applicant has good grades, has played volleyball, has been in three
school plays, has created a photography portfolio, and has helped senior
citizens through NY Cares. Which applicant would you accept? For some students, these extracurricular
activities will make the difference between college acceptance and rejection. New
Tuesday at 1:40 p.m., advisors and presenters from a host of community-based organizations and school-based clubs and teams will visit LoMA’s classes to discuss the programs they have for extended day activities. Some of the things that students can do include: act in a LoMATE play, complete community service, compete with a PSAL team, or join a code writing class and work with computer engineers from Google and Microsoft. Students can also earn credit by attending weekly tutoring with any teacher for ten hours and then turning in their signed tutoring log to Ms. Dowridge. If students are already participating in a similar activity in their own neighborhood, they simply need to bring Ms. Dowridge documentation and a note from their parent explaining what they are doing and how many hours they put in.
When I did my research for my dissertation, I asked graduates about what made high school meaningful. I found that students who had participated the most in extracurricular activities generally had the highest grades and the closest friends. These students knew that the best lessons often take place outside of classes. As students work together to put on a performance at the Educational Alliance, compete in a swim meet, or plan special events with Student Council, they discover the meaning of hard work and responsibility, think through meaningful projects and learn important interpersonal skills. Best of all, they have a good time in the process and make friends. I found it very sad when some of our graduates told me that they never got involved in anything and regret that they left high school with few good friends. That is why I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s good work in these activities.