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National High School Activities Month to Spotlight Benefits of High School Activity Programs

By NFHS on September 26, 2019 NFHS news Print

The annual celebration of National High School Activities Month begins next week for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its 51 member state high school associations. The month-long celebration in October offers the NFHS membership and the nation’s 19,500 high schools an opportunity to recognize the contributions and benefits young people experience by participation in sports and performing arts.

Each week of the October celebration places an emphasis on vital aspects of high school activity programs. Those areas include National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week (October 1-5), National Performing Arts Activities Week (October 6-12), National Coaches/Sponsors/Advisors/Officials Week (October 13-19) and National Community Service/Youth Awareness Week (October 20-26).

National High School Activities Month serves as a reminder to students, parents, coaches, officials and others in communities across the country about the values and benefits of high school activity programs. Additionally, the month-long celebration assists in addressing society’s most current issues by:

  • Finding and nurturing the best effort of each participant;
  • Encouraging students to stay in school, perform better academically and become better citizens;
  • Demanding respect for fair play and appreciation for the equitable application of procedures, rules and regulations;
  • Providing healthy lifestyle instruction; and
  • Challenging racism, sexism and classism through the active pursuit of teamwork and school spirit.  

Introduced in 1980 as National High School Activities Week, the NFHS expanded the celebration to a month several years ago to provide additional time for high schools to hold special activities at the local level. The program was started to increase the public’s awareness of the values and needs of high school activity programs, which is a purpose that remains paramount today.

“National High School Activities Month provides administrators, coaches and teachers a platform to reinforce the role played by high school activity programs in communities throughout the nation,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “Each and every young person has something to offer and, similarly, everyone in a school community is an integral member in shaping our youth through the character-defining values afforded to them by education-based activities. With almost eight million participants in high school sports and about four million in performing arts and other activity programs, we have much to celebrate.

“High school sports and activity programs provide one of the best bargains in our community and nation and will continue to do so as long as our nation supports them as an integral part of the education of our young people. Not only do these programs teach the more than 12 million young people who participate in them valuable life skills lessons, such as ethics, integrity and healthy lifestyles, they also provide the best entertainment value in our nation.” 

The NFHS will highlight National High School Activities Month through social media using the hashtag “#HSActivitiesMonth.” There, readers can discover how the NFHS and its membership is celebrating. The NFHS has also provided suggested activities for schools during each of the week-long events. All materials for National High School Activities Month, including The Case for High School Activities, are available on the publications page of the NFHS website.