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The Power of "Team"

I believe in the power of sports and the ever-important character it embeds in our youth.  Sports and co-curricular activities and interests provide many positive opportunities for engagement, inclusion and growth for both students and coaches; and these opportunities also create important connections and links to school, community, family and youth.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students who participate in extracurriculars at school, including clubs and sports, are more likely to have good attendance in school, have a lower chance of skipping school, are twice as likely than non-participating students to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and are more likely to earn a post-secondary degree.

Our students have many years of accolades, scholarships and national recognition for their efforts in music and athletics.  The current stadium at DHS was built in the 1990s. While the stadium received a facelift in the early 2000s, these “patches” have well exceeded their expiration point. We are now looking to our community and partners to help us build a multi-use stadium that can serve our students and our community for years to come.

This multi-million dollar project brings the promise to create an all-inclusive, stand alone multi-purpose field and stadium that can serve our students who are in band, football, soccer, lacrosse, cheer and dance, as well as our community, who has a need for a community multi-purpose field and stadium such as this.

These kinds of co-curricular activities that a facility like this can accommodate promotes school pride, brings recognition to students and schools, motivates students to stay more involved in their academics and promotes essential life skills. We know through research that students who play sports are eight times more likely to remain active into their adult life and enjoy the associated positive health benefits.  Through sports and other extracurricular activities, coaches focus on developing our youth into young men and women who respect diversity, who recognize rules, have high expectations for academic performance, leading to the development of strong character.

Earlier this year, our Board of Education began a community linkage program, which is intended to create a forum for input from various business sectors of our community to hear how we can better work together for the success of the whole.  When our panel of business owners joined us, they concurrently discussed the need to develop “soft skills” in our kids; those skills that help employees persevere, have a strong work ethic, be solution oriented and know how to play on a team.

Co-curricular activities that this stadium would support go beyond what we offer in our schools and brings our community partners into the fold of helping to keep our kids actively engaged in school, and help pave a path for future success.  Essential skills earned through co-curricular participation in school includes:

  1. Teach team work, discipline and life skills
  2. Embracing health and wellness
  3. Appreciation for rewards associated with efforts
  4. Meeting goals by building self-confidence

To share some statistics, adolescents who play sports are eight times as likely to be active at age 24 as adolescents who do not play sports (Sports Participation as Predictors of Participation in Sports and Physical Fitness Activities in Young Adulthood, Perkins, 2004).  Additionally, physical activity is associated with improved academic achievement, including grades and test scores. Further, such activity can affect cognitive skills, attitudes and academic behavior, including enhanced concentration, attention, and improved classroom behavior (GAO, 2012). Lastly, high school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to attend college and get degrees (US Dept. of Education, 2005)

Please take a moment to flip through this brochure to learn more about the scope of the project and the plans, as well as various ways in which you can get involved.  It is a team effort to help us realize the needs and dreams of many of our students. Thank you, from all of the 80% of DHS students who participate in some sort of cocurricular or extracurricular activity at the school.  It is time to Get in the Game, Durango!

Dan Snowberger

Superintendent

Durango School District 9-R