As back to school approaches, many of our kids will be entering junior high or high school this year. I remember my junior high years at Conkling School in Utica, then off to UFA (Utica Free Academy). In both cases, it was intimidating. The first thing I did in high school was to  get involved as my homeroom representative in the Student Council. I looked forward to those Friday afternoon meetings and met a lot of other students that way.

Joining clubs, organizations or being a part of a sports team can take the edge off that new junior or high school experience. You can try to encourage your kids to join this and that, and that’s probably a sure way that they won’t join anything! So, hopefully, they will discover a number of worthwhile activities on their own. Here are a few suggestions:

Art Club, Band, Black History Club, Chess Club, Choir, Class Government, Drama Club, French or other Language Club (I had fun in Latin Club, really!), History Club, Honor Society, Key Club (it’s fulfilling to do some public service), majorettes, marching band, math club, music, orchestra, pep club, science club, ski club, speech & debate and so much more.

Each school district has its own special offering of clubs, organizations and activities that students can participate in. And, the more involved students are in school activities, the more positive they are about the entire school experience.

You can get a head start on the school year. Most school districts have websites, so you may be able to check out a specific schools and their activities before the fall semester begins.

OK, maybe a little subtle encouragement to your kids about getting involved in school activities wouldn’t hurt.