A common goal for both education and recreation is to enhance the lives of people of all ages. Through recreation individuals can find the motivation to lead a productive life. Enrichment activities can help students generate patterns for creative proficiency, build good character, initiate an engaged mode for learning, and find purpose in life. Are enrichment activities an expenditure that can be opted out of or are they a mandatory initiative based on the overall benefit for the individuals and the advantages they provide for the public?

Our educational system focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and creative talents but what about the more fundamental dimension of educating students to grow their empathy, spirituality, and desire to be good. One of my goals for providing enrichment activities is to balance the emphasis of professional abilities along with good character traits that uplift moral standards of influence and responsibility. The core work of John Dewey (an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer) was centered on the educational experience, the long-term results of learning, and positive youth development. Instead of addressing the inadequacies in students, it’s often effective to promote positive psychology.

Rather than just book learning a particular lesson, students should learn from the entire situation and through doing something in the right way. When students work on projects, they learn to work with others, to utilize the knowledge they have, and to seek answers to questions. In order to do this, they need to develop confidence, consideration, humility, and respect just to name a few character traits. According to Wojcikiewicz and Mural (2010) going out and experiencing something like sailing or boating can teach good character as well as the qualities of cooperation, setting goals, overcoming fear, thinking about the whole purpose, and considering the situation others.

One of the many benefits of enrichment activities is the lasting affects it influences toward a person’s motivation, character, attitude, and purpose. This is why I am investing my energies not only for academic excellence but toward wholesome enrichment activities.  In the end, it’s not the price, time, or opportunity of the activities that counts but it’s the lasting benefit that such enrichment provides. My goal as a parent, educator, and caring citizen is to provide the means that challenge an individual to find their passion and use their abilities for the sake of others. Beyond the activity itself, personal achievements and reflection are essential to developing confidence, analytical ability, and tools for a meaningful life. In conclusion, enrichment activities and recreation are not just a convenient pursuit, but they are an invaluable endeavor that should be accessible to all and something that everyone should strive to participate in as much as possible.

By: Jasmin N. Barbosa, Tomas Pinpin Memorial Elem School

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