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How students can start clubs at school

Extracurricular activities can enrich students' school experience. An enjoyable extracurricular activity can help students apply lessons learned in the classroom while also making it possible for them to expand on those lessons while having some fun and meeting some new people.

Many students find extracurricular activities that can provide both social and academic benefits. For example, student-athletes may learn the value of perseverance and working with others by participating in team sports. However, some students may not find the right fit when looking for extracurricular activities, prompting them to explore starting their own clubs at school. Such an endeavor can be rewarding, and there are certain steps students can take to make their efforts more successful.

• Speak with school officials. It's best to get the go-ahead from school officials before doing too much heavy lifting. Schools may have rules in place that prohibit certain types of clubs. For example, schools may prohibit poker clubs or other activities rooted in games of chance. So it benefits students to get the go-ahead from school officials before moving forward. Officials also may mandate that any club officially affiliated with the school must have a designated faculty advisor, so students should have someone in mind once they learn the club is allowed.

• Gauge student interest. Students thinking of starting their own club should gauge the interest of fellow students as well. Some schools may require a minimum number of members, so speak with friends and classmates to gauge interest. High school students can speak with students in all grade levels, as extracurricular activities should be all-inclusive and not exclude potential members because they're underclassmen.

• Decide your goal. Extracurricular clubs should have a defined purpose so members can get the most out of it. For example, a school film club may aspire to introduce classic movies to young film fans, but also to discuss the techniques filmmakers employed in making the films. A stated purpose can help ensure club meetings stay the course and don't get sidetracked.

• Learn the ropes of being a club officer. School-sponsored clubs require some considerable effort to maintain. Students who want to start their own club can speak with officers of existing clubs for pointers on everything from organization to fundraising. Clubs should have some structure, and officers from existing clubs can be great resources when trying to develop that structure in a new clubs.

• Have fun. Of course, one of the goals of any extracurricular activity is to have fun. Club founders and officers should keep that in mind and aim to make sure each meeting is fun for all members.

Students who start new clubs at school can employ various strategies to ensure such clubs are fun for all.

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