Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

As we wrapped up our winter activities in late-February with the state basketball tournament in Yakima, I reflected upon the importance of the extra-curricular activities we provide our students.

It is because of our community’s generous support of the recently-passed Operations and Educational Programs Levy that it will be possible for us to continue to provide these kinds of valuable extracurricular opportunities for our students.

We provide many opportunities that augment the academic experiences students have each day in school including music, theatre, athletics, vocational, student government, and entrepreneurship. These provide our young people opportunities to explore their talents and interests in both competitive and non-competitive environments.

The experiences teach our students valuable skills about leadership, teamwork, hard work, goal setting, fair play, preparation, and commitment.  These skills are most effectively taught when students are confronted with challenges and shared purpose that require regular, intense practice.  Extra-curricular activities provide this opportunity while also providing students with chances to be involved in groups in which they are focused upon how they can help foster the success of a group, team or entity that reaches well beyond themselves.

We know that students who are involved and engaged in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs and after-school programs are more successful in school and in life. Involved students graduate, hold high GPAs, and excel in life after high school, whether it be in the workforce or in post-secondary training or college.  It does not matter what kind of extracurricular activities are involved in, it just matters that they are involved.  Longview Public Schools have done much work to connect students with extracurricular programs that enrich their lives. We are proud of the success of our students and the extracurricular programs we provide.  We recognize the essential role these programs provide our students and are committed to assuring our students’ access to experiences that meet their interests, talents, and needs.

I’d like to thank each of you and the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce for your overwhelming support of our schools and the programs it provides to its students.  I am humbled by your commitment to our students and our schools.