From athletics, to music, the high school experience is about more than just academics.
"I encourage every kid to join some sort of activity," says Trevor Scott, Tri-Valley High School football player.
Extra-curricular activities provide an outlet for students that teaches them lessons that they may not learn in the classroom.
Students who take part in activities agree that their involvement keeps them on-track academically.
"It encourages me to keep my attendance up, and do well in school, and keep homework and test paper grades up and everything else," says Jacob Smith, Tri-Valley football player.
"It basically just kept us focused on our school work, because you need the grades to play and it takes a lot of your free time and it basically just helps you with managing your time," say Regan and Lindsay Buchanan, John Glenn High School volleyball players.
"Our program is based on grades-first, so every day before practice you have to get all your homework done before you can even practice or play so it helps your grades tremendously," says Scott.
Engaged teens say after-school activities also keep them out of trouble.
"The drug factor comes in when you don’t have extracurricular activities to go in. And I know a few people that are in that and honestly it could be because they don’t have any other activities to do or because they get bored," says Megan Mahon, member of the John Glenn band.
"They have so much time that they’re not in something that they have to try to figure out what to do with their time and maybe it’s not such a positive thing," says Caylee Coulter, member of the John Glenn band.
The research also supports the case for extra-curricular activities. That’s why schools are encouraging kids to get involved.
"There’s no question, that when kids come to high school, it’s one of the biggest transitions they have," says Steve Brooks, Principal of John Glenn High School.
A transition that Principal Brooks says can be made easier by becoming involved in extra-curriculars.
"That’s one of the most important things to their success in high school is to get them connected to a group," says Principal Brooks.
In fact, government research shows 50 percent of kids involved in activities outside the classroom reported no unexcused absences. On the contrary, non-participants report lower numbers coming in at 36 percent. From the same study, 30.6 percent of involved students register grade-point-averages of 3.0 or above. Where those not involved tally 10.8 percent.
But it’s not about just numbers.
"It makes the high school experience a lot more pleasant for kids," says Principal Brooks.