Creating Oneself as an Individual: Extracurriculars as Enrichment and to Develop Personal Identity
Extracurricular activities at LePort play a key role in our goal of helping children develop a strong sense of personal identity—by allowing them to make individual choices about academically optional interests.
We view a strong core curriculum as a prerequisite for a variety-filled extracurricular program. Just as in language arts every student learns the same foundational writing and grammar, but then each student applies those writing skills in radically different ways depending on his own choices, so too with the LePort education in general. Our curriculum presents each child with essentially the same core content, yet this very content then enables different children to enjoy the radically different personal values that make them who they uniquely are. For example, two children develop core communication and thinking skills—which one then applies by choosing to join debate club, and the other by taking a theater class.
Since our goal is to prepare each individual student for his life—that is, for living in the pursuit of his own individual values—we go beyond a strong, common core, and facilitate our student’s individuation in every aspect of their lives. Our curriculum is full of opportunities for children to make personal choices—from selecting between different Montessori works to choosing original essay topics. At a symbolic level, this is why we have deliberately rejected the option of implementing school uniforms.
At LePort, we understand that each of our students is irreplaceably unique; we value and want to nurture that individuality.
Our enrichment and extracurricular programs incorporate this individualization process. They have three broad purposes:
- Experience rewards and relaxation made possible through their school day work. Our extracurriculars—from our many field trips to the LePort Spirit days, from afterschool art classes to a weekend mud race—are fun ways for the children to relax and celebrate their achievements, and to be introduced to a broader range of pleasures offered by the world.
- Provide an opportunity to pursue a chosen activity—something that calls to a student, given his own unique interests. At LePort, we believe a child’s personal development continues after the school day ends. We therefore offer a range of interesting afterschool extracurricular activities. We also enthusiastically support our students who are passionate athletes, musicians or artists and who pursue those interests outside of school. Whether as part of our after school programs or in other forums, we want our students to develop and explore their unique passions!
- Support social interaction and bonding. A big part of our personal development program happens outside the classroom: extracurricular and enrichment activities enable social interactions and relationship building among students, and between teachers and their students.