Extracurricular activities are an excellent choice for students interested in making the most of their free time or who are past the maximum age for after-school programs. Students can discover and pursue their interests, gain new skills, and improve their physical and emotional development. Kids involved in extracurricular activities are also less likely to use
Extracurricular activities are an excellent choice for students interested in making the most of their free time or who are past the maximum age for after-school programs. Students can discover and pursue their interests, gain new skills, and improve their physical and emotional development. Kids involved in extracurricular activities are also less likely to use alcohol and drugs. Most importantly, extracurricular activities play a role in college admissions. With so many activities available, here are some suggestions to help you decide.
After-school sports keep kids physically and mentally healthy. Through sports, kids can learn discipline, focus, and the importance of teamwork. Playing in competitions will reward them with a sense of accomplishment and also serve as a catalyst for improvement if they lose.
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers free year-round programs in swimming, track and field, baseball, and soccer at their community centers. The YMCA offers swim lessons, a regional swim team program, and team sports programs, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Teams practice once a week and compete each weekend.
Several regional sports leagues also compete throughout the year. Nine clubs comprise the Bay Area Youth Soccer Association, including Quest Youth Soccer Club, serving Deer Park, La Porte, and Pasadena, Space City Futbol Club, serving Friendswood, League City, Nassau Bay, Webster, and Clear Lake, and the Pearland United Youth Soccer Club. Southeast Little League Baseball accepts boys and girls aged 4-15 years. Track clubs that begin training in the Spring include Bay Area Road Warriors out of League City, Texas Storm Track, with athletes from Pearland, Clear Creek, and Friendswood, and BeastMode Track and Field in Friendswood.
Playing a musical instrument has a positive effect on academic performance. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument increases concentration and improves memory and even math skills. Consider hiring a private teacher for individual instruction or joining a group class for a fun social environment that encourages teamwork.
Does your child have a vivid imagination, play elaborate pretend games, and enjoy being the center of attention? Several community theaters and academies in southeast Houston offer acting and voice lessons to children of all ages and the opportunity to participate in productions.
- Deer Park: Junior Art Park Players, 1302 Center St., 281-478-7288
- League City: Bay Area Theatre and Voice Academy, 400 Hobbs Rd., Ste. 202, 281-554-5240
- Pearland: Drama Kids, 832-885-4869
- Webster: Upstage Arts, 100 East Nasa Parkway, Ste. 77, 832-797-4209
Dance is a beautiful form of expression, where fluid movements convey a story and emotion. Dancing will teach your child discipline and poise and improve his/her self-esteem and confidence. Area studios offer classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, and even flamenco and salsa. Most studios also hold a recital at the end of the year so you can see how far your child has progressed.
- Friendswood: Amy Blake’s Academy of Dance, 410 East Edgewood Dr., 281-482-0600
- Clear Lake/Webster:
- Axis Dance Studio, 100 East Nasa Parkway, Ste. 301, Webster, 281-557-9557
- Kennedy Dance Theatre, 15210 Highway 3, Webster, 281-480-8441
- Kirkwood Dance Studio, 10906 Beamer Rd., 281-481-4983
- Premier Dance Academy, 2150 Bay Area Blvd., 281-488-1151
- Pearland: Precision Dance Academy, 9201 Broadway St., Ste. 157, 281-412-5556
If you’re looking for an outlet for your child’s energy, consider gymnastics, where your child can run, jump, bounce, and flip in a safe and supervised environment. Gymnastics will also improve their strength, flexibility, balance, and confidence. Several gyms offer classes for children as young as 3-4 years old.
- Baytown: Texas Academy of Acrobatics and Gymnastics, 7310 Breda Dr., 281-838-8197
- Friendswood: AA Gymnastics Training Center, 405 Woodlawn, 832-484-3547
- League City: Acrosports, 2705 Dickinson Ave., 281-967-7261
- Pasadena: MGA Gymnastics, 4221 Spencer Hwy, 713-944-8600
- Little Gym of Pearland, 9607 Broadway, Ste. 106, 713-340-0042
- Pearland Elite, 4407 Halik Rd., 281-506-8553
- Reflex Gymnastics/Cheer Academy, 2530 Garden Rd., Building I, 281-412-3350
- Southbelt: Houston Elite Gymnastics, 11514 Hughes Rd., 832-406-7383
- Webster: AcroSports, 1800 W. Nasa Blvd., 281-332-4496
Martial arts are a fun way to improve fitness, focus, and self-discipline. Progressing up a belt system emphasizes the importance of setting goals and boosts self-esteem and confidence. Need help choosing a martial art style? Karate is characterized by sharp kicks and punches. Tae Kwon Do is similar to karate, with a greater emphasis on kicks. Judo consists of grappling and throwing techniques. Jiu-jitsu and aikido focus more on self-defense.
- Aikido: Houston Bay Aikido, 400 Hobbs Rd., Ste. 106, League City, 409-741-8583
- Jiu-jitsu: Gracie Barra Texas, 1020 W. Nasa Pkwy, Ste. 150, Webster, 832-632-1397
- Bushi Ban, various locations, http://bushiban.com/
- Champion Martial Arts, 4016B Strawberry Rd., Pasadena, 281-998-6588
- Legacy Martial Arts and Fitness, 10004 Gulf Fwy, 713-946-0488
- Tiger’s Den, 915 Oakgrove, 281-480-2222
- Tiger’s Den, 3383 Deke Slayton Hwy, League City, 281-535-9500
- Tae Kwon Do:
- Eternal Martial Arts, 9603 Broadway St. #101, Pearland, 713-436-4911
- MASTERS Tae Kwon Do Academy, 11901 Shadow Creek Pkwy, Pearland, 713-910-5425
- Texas White Tiger Tae Kwon Do, 3612 W. Main St., Ste. 200, League City, 281-338-9900
- S. Taekwon Do, 301 West Edgewood, Ste. 2, Friendswood, 281-482-0060
by Michelle Ong