From the Archives: April

How quickly our world has changed.  Last month I shared how nice it was to see so many of you in Grand Rapids at States 2020.  We were certainly fortunate the Amway Grand had to move us up several weeks to February 29 – March 2.  As with most of us,  Zoom have become a regular part of my communication as my meetings now are held digitally instead of in person.  Fellow members of the NAWD Board and state association leaders from across the country have shared the issues involved with having to cancel their state conferences and the uncertainty of summer leadership camps & fall programs.  A common thought has been when we return to normal it will be a new normal and that student activities may be more important than ever as schools work to reconnect students and redevelop the environment of school.

The time out of the building and normal school schedule has provided the time (between Zoom meetings) for many of my colleagues to do a review of their student activities files.  The search through my boxes and files of activity and leadership “stuff” archives continues.  I ran across the attached articles from 1981 and 1986 that deal with the value of student activities in schools.  It was surprising how the ideas, issues and concerns from 35 years ago are so similar to those I hear from advisors today.  “How Does Your Program Compare” shares the data from a study done to assess the common types of activities offered in schools, the level of participation, program supervision, advisor compensation & training, student leader training, financial support for activities, evaluation of activity programs, problem areas and reasons for participation and non-participation.  ”A Model for Student Activity Programs” outlines some of the requirements for a successful activities program based on the survey.  “Why Student Activities” shares the benefits of a well-rounded activity program for schools and their students.  The Practitioner monograph looks at student opinion regarding student activities, the impact of putting restrictions on participation based on academic performance and model policies.  If you are looking for some new reading materials during your extended time at home, you may find these articles interesting and will realize the issues raised 35 years ago are still relevant today.

As many of you are dealing with holding elections outside of the normal process this spring, it may be a good time to review your current constitution and look at the election requirements it contains.  If procedures you will use this year are different than what are listed in the constitution, it would be prudent to share these with your building principal along with the rationale.  You can get a head start on next year’s Award of Excellence by doing a complete constitution review.  This would be a good activity for your current student leaders to take the lead in.
Stay positive and test negative!

Tom Heethuis,

April Archives