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Active students do measurably better in class

Published: Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

A lot has been written about the 1 percent sales tax and how the Dixon Public School District should focus on academics instead of pursuing a sports and activities complex. Opponents of the tax separate academics from activities when, in fact, both are important in the total education of a student.

The link between extracurricular activities and academic performance is, in actuality, extremely strong. A 2008 study conducted at Liberty University found that participation in high school athletics had a dramatic and positive impact on academic performance.  

This fall, the sophomores, juniors and seniors at Dixon High School involved in activities had a cumulative grade-point average of 2.78, which is a B average, whereas the sophomores, juniors and seniors not involved in activities had a cumulative grade-point average of 2.34, which equates to a C.  

As Dixon High School’s principal, I look for any positive academic influence possible for our students. Sports and activities provide an undeniably powerful and positive influence for our students.

The sports and activities complex would allow for our elementary, middle and high school children to participate in such activities to a greater extent and to do so in their hometown. That participation will make them better students.  

It is clear that involvement in activities and athletics result in greater academic achievement, which, in turn, gives students an advantage when applying to colleges, applying for scholarships, and applying for jobs.

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